What Landlords Should Know About Move-out Letters

If you are a new landlord, you might wonder whether handing a move-out letter to your renter is required. Some might think this notice is optional since they don’t look forward to performing this task. However, this is a necessary activity since it will reduce your financial losses later on.

A move-out letter works in your best interest since you notify the renter to leave at the stated date. When they move out, you can focus on repairing property damage and looking for a better renter who takes care of your rental better and will pay their rent promptly.

The letter reminds them to clear out their belongings by the end date and to follow the agreement, such as an end-of-tenancy cleaning procedure. With a neat rental property, it will take less time to schedule property showings.

Vacant rentals can increase your risk of burglary and property damage, so you need to plan for strategic marketing.

You will also be paying for marketing and property maintenance-related fees so it is best to proactively advertise your empty rental property. Upon attracting a good number of potential tenants, you can start screening them meticulously.

Welcoming top-quality renters is the gateway to succeeding in the rental business. You can always rely on consistent income, well-maintained rental units, and renters who follow the policies stated in the lease agreement.

Why Issuing a Move-out Letter Is Vital

When the tenancy expires, the renter can choose to renew the lease or request a month-to-month lease from the landlord. If either party wants to end this arrangement, then a move-out letter must be given.


You may think that issuing a move-out letter is not required since your lease contract mentioned the end date of the tenancy. However, some states dictate the provision of a move-out letter before the lease ends.

Although your state may not mandate landlords to do this, it is still an excellent practice to remind tenants of the expiry of the lease contract.

While preparing a move-out letter is a task that adds to your to-do list, it is an essential activity. Renters are likely to follow the guidelines before they move out, such as arranging for repairs caused by their neglect or cleaning up the space.

Repair costs will naturally be lesser for landlords and they may no longer need to hire a professional cleaner to make the unit presentable.

Benefits Offered By Move-out Letters

Move-out letters bring plenty of advantages, such as:

  • The move-out letter can be a way for the property owner to express they are grateful to renters for their stay and for remaining compliant with property policies and paying the rent on time.
  • Reducing conflicts between the parties since a move-out letter provides a detailed step-by-step guide of what renters must do before they leave the rental space.
  • Preparing the renter for the tasks they need to complete by providing them with enough time.


Writing Tips When Crafting a Move-out Letter

Because rental units are diverse, you can expect move-out letters to differ too. You can seek legal advice or check with a landlord trade association before giving your renter a move-out letter.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Note the delivery date when sending a move-out letter, whether you sent it via email or in person
  2. Mention your updated contact information
  3. Highlight the last date of the tenancy and include the reason. If the renter wants to renew, then you must leave some instructions, including the process of renewing, plus any changes in the rental policies and rental rates.
  4. State the inspection requirements, such as
    • A property walk-through if needed
    • Parts of the unit that the tenant needs to clean up
  5. Highlight the important dates, such as
    • The expected date for the renter to move out
    • The date of the move-out inspection
  6. Provide complete instructions on returning the keys
  7. Include information on attachments contained in the letter, such as a property move-out checklist
  8. Detail the process for the security deposit reimbursement, such as
    • The date of the return of the deposit
    • The procedure of deposit refund (sending via certified mail allows easy tracking of the receipt)

The Best Time to Send a Move-Out Letter

Is there a recommended time to hand a move-out letter to your renter? It is advisable to check your local and state laws first to ensure you comply with the notice period for sending a move-out letter.


Does a Move-out Letter Differ from an Eviction Notice?

Move-out letters and eviction notices may appear similar but they differ. Tenants leave a rental for a myriad of reasons while an eviction is the last resort of the landlord when a renter does not follow property policies, pay the rent on time, or damage the rental through abuse or neglect.

Further, eviction procedures can differ in one state than others, so researching your local and state laws is needed.

How to Prepare a Move-out Checklist?

A landlord can provide a move-out checklist before a renter leaves. The duties of the tenant are detailed but responsibilities can differ depending on the type of rental unit. The checklist guides the renters on what to do to get back the security deposit.

Landlords must be able to tell the signs of property damage borne from normal wear and tear and those caused by tenant abuse or neglect. Repair costs cannot be deducted from the security deposit if the damage resulted from normal wear and tear.

Bottom Line

Landlords must issue a move-out letter before a tenancy expires to reduce potential conflicts and prepare tenants before they leave. Although move-out letters are helpful to landlords, screening for high-quality renters is still recommended.

If you are searching for a trusted property manager to oversee your rental unit, contact Schambs Property Management today!

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