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Blog July 8, 2021

9 Things to Do When Moving Out of a Rental Property

Posted in Moving Day Tips
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

When moving out of a rental property, you are certainly looking to the future, a new life, in a new home, with new friends, and new experiences. You need to prepare for the significant change, organize your relocation, and overcome all the many challenges that come with it, the last thing on your mind is the rental property you are leaving. And yet, you surely want the moving out to go smoothly, without any conflict and hassle. To achieve this, you are going to need to comply with all your responsibilities as a tenant when moving out, give your landlord a proper moving out notice, and leave the rented place in good condition.

The all-inclusive tenants moving out checklist in the article below will guide you through the whole process and help you make sure that you do not fail to notice anything significant when vacating your rented home so that you can get your security deposit back and depart with your landlord on good terms.


Review your rental agreement

The first thing you should do when planning to relocate out of a rental is to go over your rental agreement and find out how to end the lease properly. Rules and regulations concerning the moving out notice, utility transfers, maintenance obligations, etc. vary depending on whether or not you have a monthly rental agreement or a fixed-term lease. Every property manager and rental agency has different requirements and policies, so you have to check the specific terms that you have agreed to.

The lease will define how far in advance you need to give your landlord a vacate notice and will specify what is expected of you upon departing the property. Once you have reviewed all the requirements in your rental contract and know your responsibilities as a tenant, make sure that you include all the tasks and deadlines to your moving plan and complete all the chores in time and with maximum efficiency.

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  1. Give your landlord a moving out notice

Most rental contracts require the tenant to present a written notification to the property owner a month prior to moving out of the rented place. So, you have to write a tenant move out letter and send it to your landlord at least five weeks before moving day. Your notice should contain a statement of the condition of the rental property, the exact date of your relocation, as well as your new address, and a request to have your tenancy deposit returned.

If you are moving out of a rental before the lease expires, you have to give the reasons for leaving the rental property ahead of time and have your landlord cancel your lease. Remember that if your landlord doesn’t agree to either of these choices or a suitable replacement tenant is not found, you will have to pay the rent for the full term stated in the lease.

It’s a good idea to keep your landlord updated throughout the relocation process so that he or she can show the apartment to potential new tenants and let them know when they can move-in date.

  1. Inspect the property and fix any damage

You are required to return the property in the same condition as it was when you moved into it, so the next thing you have to do is inspect the place for any damage that you may have caused while you lived there. Make sure you refer to the condition report that you got when you moved in to find out what exactly you are accountable for.

Normal wear and tear is expected and acceptable, but you are responsible for repairing holes in the walls that you have made for hanging pictures and other things. Fix any dents and scratches on the walls and floors, repainting the walls to the original color, replace any broken windows. Ensure that the electrical and plumbing systems are in working condition and that all the lighting fixtures, kitchen appliances, and any other home devices that were in the property when you moved in are working properly, etc.

Make sure to document any repair work and keep the receipts, if you made some permanent improvements to the place, you can request the amount of cash you spent on them to be subtracted from your last rent.

  1. Pay all your bills

Your landlord can legally use your deposit money to pay any unpaid charges and bills, so make sure that you pay off any due taxes and fees before moving out of the rented place. Waste management fees, utility bills, etc. Notify all your service providers that you are moving out and order the services at your rental to be discontinued on the day after your relocation and the utilities in your new home to be turned on by when you move in. Do not forget to take readings of all gas, electricity, and water meters on moving day and photograph them as evidence. Unless you can pay online, leave enough money to pay any bills that are due at a time when you have already left.

  1. Remove things from the rental

Make sure you do not leave any of your belongings behind, you are going to pack your things and move them to your new home, but there might be some things you do not want to take with you or some things you may have forgotten entirely about. You shouldn’t leave any of them in the rental property, as your landlord can charge you for having to dispose of your items. So, make sure that you sort out your things a few months before you move out and find a way to dispose of everything you do not want anymore, sell or donate any useful items that are still in working order, throw away damaged and worn out items, recycle whatever you can, etc.

Remember to take down any pictures and calendars from the walls, remove magnets from the fridge, get all your things from the bathroom, take your door mats and rugs, etc. Go through the drawers and cupboards, search the loft, go through the basement and the garage, mainly just double-check everything. Do not forget that cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, trash cans, hazardous materials, and anything else that was not in the rented house or apartment when you moved in has to go as well.

  1. Clean thoroughly

Your lease may provide precise details as to what is expected of you concerning cleaning the rental unit before moving out or might say that you should leave the place clean and tidy.  You should try to leave the place in the same condition that it was when you moved in. This will guarantee the return of your security deposit and will help you avoid move-out disputes, disagreements, and stress.

If you intend to do the cleaning yourself, ensure that you have all the necessary cleaning supplies and equipment to do the job. If you plan to use professional cleaning services, set aside the money for the cost and hire an affordable and reliable cleaning company as soon as possible.

  1. Document the condition of the rental unit

You need proof of the condition you are leaving the rental property in, so you are strongly advised to document the cleaning and repair works and keep all the receipts for the materials and services you paid for. Additionally, make sure you take many photos of the property when all your things are taken out, and everything is cleaned, all this evidence will come very helpful in case of a disagreement with your landlord regarding your security deposit.

  1. Arrange a move out inspection

Every tenant move-out checklist ends with scheduling a final inspection. So, do not forget to call your landlord a week or so before moving out of the property and ask him or her to conduct a walkthrough inspection of the rental unit to see whether any security deposit deductions are warranted. Be present at the move-out inspection, address any issues that may arise, try to find mutually beneficial solutions, and ask for your tenancy deposit back.


If you are moving out of your rented property, you might need the help of a professional and reliable moving company to get all of your things to your new home safely. If that is the case, then visit the East Coast West Coast Express website or call one of our friendly representatives to receive a free moving quote, begin planning your relocation and set your relocation date.

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