Managing tenant move-outs needs to be detailed and documented. You need a process.
Today, we want to share some of the highlights of our own move-out process so you can put together a checklist of your own when tenants are moving out of your property. You need to do three things:
- Conduct a thorough inspection.
- Return the security deposit.
- Prepare the home for new tenants.
Before your tenants move out, provide them with a list of the things they’ll need to do. This may include making any minor repairs such as changing the filters and replacing light bulbs that aren’t working, cleaning the property thoroughly and professionally, and returning any keys, garage door openers, and other pieces of property that belong to the owner or the community.
Move-Out Inspection Checklists for Landlords
If you work with professional Albuquerque property managers, this inspection will be handled for you, and you should expect to receive a detailed inspection report with photos. If you’re managing your home on your own, you’ll need to know what to look for after your tenants move out and you’re inspecting the home for damage.
We recommend a checklist.
The first thing on your checklist is to evaluate the cleanliness of the home. It should be in the same clean condition that it was when your tenants took possession. Your lease agreement might require your tenants to have the home professionally cleaned or the carpets steam-cleaned before they move out. Check to see if that’s been done.
Next, look for damage. Make sure you understand the difference between damage and wear and tear. As a landlord, you’re responsible for the general wear and tear of the property. Those nail holes in the walls from where pictures were hung or scuffs from where furniture rested are your responsibility to repair and restore.
Tenant damage is anything beyond the wear and tear. It’s sometimes an accident, and often due to the abuse, misuse, or neglect of the home. A broken window or screen or appliances that are dented are examples of damage.
Return Your Tenant’s Security Deposit
Unless your lease specifies otherwise, you need to return your tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out. If the tenants left the home in excellent condition and you’re returning the full deposit, simply send it to their new address. If you’re making deductions, make sure you indicate what you’re deducting for and why. You’ll want to include any invoices, receipts, or estimates to show that the amount you’re withholding is reasonable and valid. You don’t want to find yourself in a dispute with your tenant.
Prepare the Property for Your Next Tenants
The final part of your move-out process should be to get the home ready to re-rent. You’ll want to quickly make any repairs that are needed so you can start showing the home and get a new tenant moved in. This will ensure the disruption to your rental income is minimal.
Make sure you check the home for things like leaks under sinks, working outlets, and functioning locks on doors and windows. Turning the property over quickly and efficiently can usually be done with the help of Albuquerque property managers.
If you have any questions about how to effectively move a tenant out of your home, please contact us at Bruni/Karr Rental & Management Agency. We’re here to help property owners with the most challenging parts of Albuquerque property management.