Landlord Move Out Checklist | Seattle Rental Property Tips


The move out process starts and is triggered by the tenant’s notice to vacate. Today, we’re talking about that process and sharing some rental property tips so you’ll know how to handle the details of a move out.

Pre-Move Inspection

First, you need to acknowledge that you received the notice to vacate. Depending on the tenant, we usually send an email. If we know they don’t typically use email, we will text or call. You just need to have something that says ‘thank you for submitting the proper notice to vacate.’ With this communication, we also schedule a pre-move inspection. Tenants are told that their presence is welcome but not required. The purpose of this inspection is to look for upgrades that the unit might need during the turnover period. It’s more for planning purposes. We walk through the unit and look for major upgrades so we can plan. This tells us who we need to schedule and how long the work will take.

Schedule Your Vendors

Depending on how much work is needed, make your plan of action and schedule out your vendors. You know what day is move out day, and you can get the vendors in to start doing the work right away. If a lot of work is needed, plan for a few days. You’ll learn how long things take, and you can put together a timeline. Get the painter in after the handyman. Have the floor guy or the carpet shampooer after all the work is done to the walls and the house, then have the cleaners. That’s how it goes. Maybe you won’t need all the vendors; in some cases, a handyman and a cleaner is all you need and the turnover can move quickly.

Final Inspection

On final day of move out, use some discretion. If you know the unit is in pretty good shape, a formal move out with the tenant isn’t necessary. There may be a few little things, but the unit is in good condition and you can ask the tenants to leave the keys. Then, you can send them the inspection report once it’s done. If you anticipate issues, and you know the unit is messed up and will need a lot of work and there will be charges, ask the tenant to be there so you can talk about what they will be charged for. Give them the opportunity to fix those things and prepare them for not receiving their deposit back.

You need a forwarding address and instructions on how to split up the security deposit. If two roommates are splitting it, get a written account of how it will be dispersed. Make sure all parties are agreeing to that, and put it in writing even if it’s via email. This eliminates confusion or dispute after the fact.

If you have any questions about your landlord move out checklist or anything that involves Seattle rental management, please contact us at Olympic View Property Management.

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