What Landlords Should Know About Move-Out Letters

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When it comes to being a landlord, there are many things to keep in mind to ensure that everything runs smoothly. One of these important things is the move-out process. 

As a landlord, it’s crucial to provide your tenants with move-out letters in order to communicate important information and expectations about the process. 

In this blog, we’ll explore what landlords should know about move-out letters and why they’re essential in protecting your rental property and ensuring a smooth transition for all parties involved. 

Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or just starting out in the business, keep reading to learn more about this important aspect of property management.

Purpose of a Move-Out Letter

The purpose of a move-out letter is to communicate important information and expectations to tenants who are vacating a rental property.

This letter is typically sent by the landlord or property manager and serves as an official notice that the tenant is expected to vacate the property by a certain date. 

Move-out letters also provide instructions to the tenant on how to properly leave the property, including details on cleaning, renovations, and any other requirements that must be met prior to the return of their security deposit.

In addition to outlining the responsibilities of the tenant, move-out letters also protect the landlord by providing written documentation of the expectations and conditions for move-out. 

This can be used as evidence in case of disputes or legal action related to the condition of the property after the tenant has vacated.

Benefits of Sending a Move-Out Letter

Sending a move-out letter can offer several benefits for both you as the landlord and your departing tenant. 


Here are some reasons why you might consider sending a move-out letter:

  • Shows Goodwill: A move-out letter is a great way to solidify the landlord-tenant relationship and can help ensure that your tenant leaves on good terms. It’s also a chance to formally thank your tenant for choosing your property and for being a good tenant who followed your rental terms.
  • Clarifies Expectations: By outlining all the move-out requirements in one place, a move-out letter can help prevent misunderstandings or confusion. This can simplify things for your tenant and help ensure that they leave the property in good condition.
  • Gives Tenants Time to Prepare: If you provide proper notice, a move-out letter can give your tenant adequate time to complete all the necessary tasks before they move out.

Tips to Get Started With Your Move-Out Letter

If you’re a landlord preparing a move-out letter for your tenant, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Make sure to include the date you’re sending or delivering the letter, as well as your contact information.
  • Let your tenant know the date they need to move out and why. If they have the option to renew, you might also want to include information about that process.
  • Make sure to tell them if their deposit doesn’t cover any unpaid rent.
  • Outline the details of the final inspection. Will you be doing a walk-through with the tenant? What cleaning tasks do they need to take care of before they leave?
  • Be clear about important dates, such as when the move-out inspection will occur.
  • Explain what your tenant should do with the keys when they move out.
  • If you’ve included attachments with the letter, such as a move-out checklist, be sure to mention them.
  • Explain the process for returning the security deposit. Let your tenant know how and when they can expect to receive it.

Remember, every rental property is different, so your move-out letter may require additional details or instructions. If you need further assistance, consider reaching out to landlord trade associations or legal counsel for guidance.

When Should One Send a Move-Out Letter?

The timeframe for submitting a move-out letter may differ depending on the laws and regulations in your state or locality.

It’s important to conduct thorough research and review local rules regarding move-out notices to ensure that you’re following the correct procedures. 

Seeking advice from legal and real estate professionals in your area is also recommended to confirm the appropriate notice period to provide your tenants.

What Should Be Included in a Move-Out Letter?

If you’re a landlord getting ready for a tenant to move out, creating a move-out checklist can be really helpful.

Here are some things you might consider including:

  • Cleaning all of the bathrooms
  • Cleaning all of the windows
  • Disposing of all garbage
  • Making sure wall paint is the original color (unless the tenant got permission to change it)
  • Sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming the floors

Your move-out checklist might also include other items that are specific to your rental property. For example, you might want to add “sweep debris from the patio” if your property has an outdoor area.


A move-out checklist can help explain what the tenant needs to do in order to get back some or all of their security deposit. 

As the landlord, you’ll need to determine whether any damage to the property is from normal wear and tear or from tenant damage such neglect or abuse. By creating a move-out checklist, you can make it clear to your tenant what’s expected and help ensure a smooth transition.

Bottom Line

Move-out letters can be a useful tool for landlords to ensure a smooth transition when a tenant leaves a rental property.

By including important information such as move-out dates, inspection details, and instructions for leaving keys behind, landlords can simplify the process and help avoid misunderstandings with tenants.

If you’re a landlord who’s feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities of managing a rental property, consider hiring a property management company! Bigham & Associates is a trusted property management company that can help you with all your rental property needs.

With years of experience and a commitment to excellent service, we can help you manage your property and maximize your profits. Don’t hesitate to reach out for more information and start enjoying the benefits of stress-free property management today!