What Landlords Should Know About Move-Out Letters


Moving out from your rental can be a stressful time for both you and your renters. As a homeowner, you must coordinate a final inspection to ensure your investment is in good condition. Moreover, you must ensure residents don’t leave things such as mail or personal items behind when they move out. 

Luckily, there are many things you can do to make the move-out process stress-free for you and your renters. For instance, you can send residents a move-out letter beforehand. Keep reading to learn why move-out letters are important and how you can use them to make your life easier as a landlord.

What The Purpose of a Move-Out Letter?

Move-out letters are formal written notices from landlords informing residents of when they should vacate a rental property. As a landlord, these letters play a crucial role in property management, as they can help you streamline the move-out process significantly. 

Although move-out letters serve to remind residents that their lease is going to expire soon and they should move out on a specific date, they’re not the same as an eviction notice. Eviction notices are legal documents to legally terminate a tenancy before its due date.

These notices are served to renters who have breached the terms of the lease, whether it’s for nonpayment of rent, property damage, or other lease violations, and are only one part of the eviction process. 

Move-out letters often include details about the condition in which the tenant should leave the property. They also inform residents of when the final inspection will be conducted, allowing them enough time to conduct an end-of-tenancy cleaning, and increasing their chances to get their full security deposit back.

This way, you can rest assured that your property will be in good condition when residents move out. Plus, it can also help you prevent more security deposit disputes. 

The modern interior of a dining room.

As a landlord, these letters provide residents with transparency and clarity regarding the move-out process. This allows you to end a tenancy on good terms and plan for the next steps in managing your property, including getting it ready for new people.

Overall, sending your residents a move-out letter is highly recommended.


Why Should Landlords Send Move-out Letters?

Drafting a move-out letter for your residents might seem like a time-consuming and overly complicated process, but it’s not! Taking the time to write these letters can be beneficial for both you and your residents. Some of the benefits of move-out letters include:

  • Keeps your rental in good condition. A move-out letter allows you to communicate your end-of-the-lease expectations with renters, including when you expect them to move out and the state the property should be in to get their security deposit back. This gives enough time for them to ensure that your property is clean and in good condition before they move out. 
  • Keeps renters happy. Move-out letters are a great way to end a rental agreement with happy renters. Even if they’re moving out soon, maintaining a good relationship with your renters can go a long way. After all, former residents can show interest in renting your property again in the future, as well as helping you advertise your rental to family and friends. 
  • Avoids security deposit disputes. By communicating your move-out expectations and requirements in your letter, you can prevent many misunderstandings and disagreements. Move-out letters can serve as protection in case a tenant were to take you to small claims court to get their deposit back.
  • Prevents holdover tenancies. Allowing residents to stay on your property after their lease expires can significantly affect your return and leave your rental at risk of property damage. Luckily, you can prevent holdover tenancies with a move-out letter. By stating when residents should move out in your letter, you’ll have proof that renters are trespassing if they try to overstay their welcome. 
  • Fills your vacancies quickly. With a move-out letter, you can ensure that residents vacate your property on time and clean it up before they do so. This can help you schedule thorough maintenance as soon as they’re out so that your rental is ready for new renters more quickly. 

An empty living room.


Tips for Writing an Effective Move-out Letter

Every move-out letter will be different, as every rental agreement is unique. However, all letters should include this basic information:

  • Date of delivery.
  • Your contact information.
  • Your residents’ full name and contact information.
  • The previously agreed move-out date.
  • Reason for termination, such as the lease ending.
  • Move-out requirements, such as instructions for leaving the keys behind or deep cleaning the property.
  • Details about a final property inspection.
  • Requirements to get their full security deposit back. 

To ensure your letter is successful, we recommend you:

  • Keep it professional. Use formal language and stick to business-related topics only.
  • Give detailed instructions. Outline your move-out expectations in bullet points so residents know exactly what you expect from them. Consider including a cleaning checklist to ensure residents leave your property in good condition. 
  • Send it 30 days before the lease expires. A month is enough time for your renters to prepare for their move-out. It also gives you time to prepare to conduct a final property inspection and schedule maintenance afterwards.


Bottom Line

Although they’re not a mandated practice, every landlord should send move-out letters to their residents. This simple practice can help you ensure that your property is vacated on time and is in good condition at the end of each tenancy.

A couple of tenants packing up their stuff.

Now that you know what move-out letters are and how to write them, you can spend less time and money on repairs and maintenance after a tenant leaves and, instead, focus on filling your vacancies quickly. 

Want to streamline the move-out process for your Idaho rental? Contact Five Star Property Management today! Our team can help you with anything from inspecting the property after residents move out, dealing with maintenance and repairs, and even marketing your rental. So you can rest assured your investment will be in good hands with us!

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