What Landlords Should Know About Move-Out Letters

Moving out of a rental can be pretty stressful; not just for tenants, but also landlords. As a landlord, you're likely familiar with the process, however, one step can often prove difficult: writing and delivering move-out letters.

It's essential to have an effective move-out letter in place to ensure the transition is smooth and that everything is clear.

Move-out letters clarify expectations regarding check-out procedures, ensuring that you, as the landlord, will receive any remaining rent payments due and protect yourself against potential damages or deductions from the security deposit.

The Purpose of Move-Out Letters

A move-out letter is a written notice from the landlord to the tenant informing them that their lease or rental agreement has ended and they are required to leave the premises. It serves as legal proof that the tenant has vacated the property and may be used in court if any disputes arise.

Move-out letters also provide tenants and landlords with necessary information regarding the move-out process. The letter typically outlines any required move-out procedures, such as cleaning or repairs, that must be completed before returning keys and vacating the property.

In addition, it can provide specific details on how to handle rent payments, security deposits, and other financial matters related to the end of a tenancy.

By clearly defining expectations and deadlines in writing, landlords can save themselves from future headaches and costly disputes. For tenants, they had proof of when they vacated the premises in case of any issues with their landlord.


Move-out letters are essential for landlords and tenants alike, as they provide clarity and peace of mind to both parties during the transition period between tenancies.

They ensure that both parties understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the end of a tenancy, promoting a smooth move-out.

Benefits of a Move-Out Letter

Once the lease agreement between a tenant and their landlord ends, tenants must vacate the premises. When moving out of an apartment or rental property, it’s essential to provide written notice in the form of a move-out letter.

The benefits of submitting a move-out letter include:


A move-out letter provides consistency in communication between the tenant and the landlord.

It sets an expectation of appropriate behavior when the tenant vacates, giving both parties a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities. This reduces potential disputes that may arise due to miscommunication.


The move-out letter helps ensure that both parties remain accountable for the lease agreement and other related agreements. It provides a legal record of expectations and actions taken, which can help settle any disputes should they arise.


The move-out letter proves that the tenant has vacated the premises following the terms outlined in the lease agreement. It helps to verify that the tenant has fulfilled their obligations and can be used as evidence if required.


The move-out letter clearly outlines the terms of the tenant's departure, including any repairs or cleaning that must be done before they leave.


This ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding the tenant's move-out day and helps avoid future misunderstandings.

Avoiding Disputes

A move-out letter is a valuable tool for landlords and tenants alike, as it provides a clear understanding of the responsibilities of each party. This helps avoid potential disputes caused by the miscommunication or misunderstanding of the lease agreement.

Tips for Writing a Move-Out Letter

Writing a move-out letter is a necessary part of ending a rental agreement. This letter allows you to communicate important information in a professional and organized manner.

Here are some useful tips to help you write a move-out letter:

  • Remember to specify the date of delivery.
  • Provide contact information for both parties in the letter.
  • Include the date the tenant must move out and any changes in rent, if applicable.
  • Make sure to outline important dates, such as when the final inspection will occur, when keys need to be returned, and when security deposit refunds are expected.
  • Provide instructions for returning keys, as well as details about the security deposit process.
  • End with a polite sign-off and thank them for their time.

When Is the Right Time to Send a Move-Out Letter?

When it comes to sending a move-out letter, timing is essential. The best time to send a move-out letter is 30 days before a tenant vacates the premises. This gives landlords sufficient time to find and vet new tenants and make any necessary repairs or renovations before their arrival.


It’s also essential to check local laws and regulations when sending a move-out letter. In some areas, landlords may require more advanced notice than 30 days, or they may have specific requirements regarding the letter's content.

Move-Out Letter Checklist

Some of the general items you should include in your move-out checklist are:

  • Remove all personal items, including furniture, electronics, and belongings.
  • Clean the property thoroughly, ensuring that all surfaces, such as countertops, appliances, floors, and walls, are free of dirt or residue.
  • Make sure the property's exterior is in good condition with no signs of damage beyond normal wear and tear.
  • Check for any loose screws, nails, or other hardware that need to be replaced.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are securely shut and locked.
  • Return all keys for the property, including any garage door openers, mailbox keys, and gate access cards.
  • Check plumbing fixtures, such as sinks and toilets, to ensure they’re in working order and to avoid future water damage.

Final Words

Move-out letters are an essential part of the landlord-tenant relationship that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

They not only provide legal protection for both the tenant and the landlord, but also serve as a reminder that both parties need to be mindful of their responsibilities as outlined in the lease agreement.

Writing a proper move-out letter can be tricky for self-managing landlords. For more guidance, consider hiring a property management company such as Schambs Property Management!

We’re a full service property management firm with the expertise to meet all of your property management needs. Contact us today to get started!

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