A Complete Tenant Move-Out Checklist for Landlords

As a landlord, you have a lot of responsibilities. You’re obligated to provide safe, secure, and comfortable housing for your tenants. Depending on your lease agreement, you may also be responsible for making repairs and taking care of maintenance issues.

However, your tenants also have responsibilities. For example, when they move out, they need to leave the rental in the same condition they found it in.

But what duties should you hold them to in your contract? Keep reading for a quick tenant move-out checklist for landlords.

1. Personal Possessions

First, and most obviously, a tenant shouldn’t leave any of their personal possessions on the property. This includes furniture, electronics, clothing, garbage, and anything else. Essentially, the rental unit should be completely emptied out.

You may be wondering what to do when your tenant moves out and leaves stuff behind. In this case, you can hold back a part of their deposit. However, left-behind items must be covered in the contract to avoid this becoming an issue.

2. Damages

One of the most important items on the tenant move-out checklist is checking the property for damages. If the tenants cause structural or aesthetic damages during their time in the unit, they must make the necessary repairs.

Once again, the details must be covered in the contract literature. You may, for example, allow them to put nails and screws in the walls. However, if there’s excessive damage to the drywall, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

There are normal wear and tear issues that you shouldn’t hold the tenant liable for. For example, if your roof is in disrepair and is leaking water, it’s not your tenant’s responsibility to pay for repairs.

3. Cleaning

Cleaning is usually a huge sticking point when you have a tenant moving out. Many tenants do their best DIY cleaning but fail to do an adequate job. Additionally, your contract may stipulate hiring a professional steam cleaning service for the carpets.

Be specific in your contract about what you expect on your tenant move-out checklist. Everything in the unit they leave dirty means more work and expenses for you. Here’s a quick cleaning guide:

  • Sweep and mop hard floors
  • Vacuum and steam clean all carpets
  • Clean all verticle and horizontal surfaces
  • Clean all windows and mirrors
  • Clean and sanitize the bathrooms
  • Clean and sanitize the kitchen
  • Clean interior and exterior of all appliances
  • Remove scuffs from floors, walls, and doors
  • Notify the landlord of any major issues (Carpet stains, cracked windows, damaged drywall, etc.)

You can adjust your tenant leaving checklist based on the unit, your contract, and what you expect from your tenants. Check out this article to learn more about tenant cleaning.

Dan Dan The Carpet Man’s Tampa carpet cleaning process will help to restore your carpet and prolong its lifespan.

4. Utilities

Finally, make sure you remind tenants to cancel the utilities and services they’re paying for in the unit. This can include electricity, water, gas, waste removal, internet, cable, phone, and more. Depending on the rental unit and the contract, you may choose to pay for some or all of the utilities.

Looking for More on Tenant Move-Out Checklists and Other Landlord Advice?

Renting out commercial and residential properties can be incredibly lucrative. However, as you have probably found out, being a landlord isn’t always easy. Make your life easier by making sure you cover everything in your contract, including the tenant move-out checklist.

And if you’re looking for more real estate and landlord advice, look through some of our other articles before you go. Our blog was created to provide valuable information for business owners, landlords, and homeowners alike.

Oscar Rojas
Oscar Rojas

I'm primarily a dad and a husband, then I live. I've been a freelance writer and editor since 2014, specializing in finance, casino, sports, and esports niches. I'm an expert in checking the small print on any T&C site. You can trust me as an expert, especially when it comes to financing and gambling products.