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Top Ways to Make Your Rental Property Move-Out Process Easier

The move-out process begins when a tenant gives notice, or you decide to terminate a tenant’s lease. The process will move forward whether you have a well-organized move-out plan or not. However, it is usually smoother when you have a consistent policy. 

The move-out process may have several phases depending on the situation. For example, a tenant may refuse to leave, or your property may have significant damage you must fix once the tenant moves. 

When there is damage, the tenant’s security deposit is put towards the repairs, which may cause an already irritated tenant to become angry.

Creating An Efficient Move-Out Process

You can’t control every detail of a tenant’s move-out, but you can create a structure that makes the process easier to manage. If you’ve ever had an uncomfortable, difficult, or downright frustrating move-out, the following ideas will come in handy. 

Set an Expectation of Open Communication

Tenants will form opinions about you based on how you engage with them, beginning with your first meeting. Set a positive example for open communication from your initial point of contact, whether you talk to a prospective tenant over the phone or in person.

For example, make sure you let them know you are always available for them. Also, make it clear that you want to be kept up to date on any issues they have, including maintenance and repairs.

Make it a point to express that you do not consider these sorts of reports to be complaints or a hassle since you want to ensure that their rental home is secure and in good shape.

Many individuals have had bad experiences with landlords who refuse to perform repairs and leave their tenants in a bad situation. Over time, tenants may stop communicating, regardless of how attentive the landlord is. 

Tenants are more inclined to discuss issues that develop when they believe their landlord is on their side. However, when it comes time to move out, you’ll need to ensure that the communication between you and your tenant is on point.

move-out process meeting

Establish a Formal Lease Termination Process

Consistency in any endeavor is the key to success, especially as a landlord. Being consistent will also keep you out of legal problems by keeping you from making little but critical mistakes.

Even little mistakes during a tenant eviction might cause you to lose a case if it goes to court, and your tenant may gain the right to remain on your property.

Create a detailed documented procedure for lease terminations, including procedures involving eviction and a standard move-out due to the end of a lease. A documented lease termination process allows you to follow the same procedures in a planned and organized manner. 

When we are upset or disappointed, we don’t always think straight. However, when you have to evict a tenant, a documented procedure increases the likelihood that you will complete all phases as planned.

Everything you do will likely follow the script when your procedure is conducted in a deliberate manner. A defined protocol also makes it easier to assign some of those activities to others.

For example, you can go through your administrative chores and delegate part of them to an employee or contractor. If you have a defined process, you’ll have the documents others need to conduct a thorough job on your behalf.

Always Follow Your Documented Move-Out Process

Ensure you follow the established protocol for a tenant’s move-out to the letter. Your moving procedure should consider the appropriate rules, therefore, straying from it may find you in legal difficulties.

Following your written policies for the move-out process will keep you in compliance with lease termination laws because landlord-tenant law has many intricacies. Therefore, relying on your recollections of the laws is not advisable. 

lease rules

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Photograph and Video Everything

Taking photographs and video recordings of your rental home before and after renters move in and out may seem to be a pointless and time-consuming chore. Because, after all, if there is rental property damage, you will have to repair it, so why bother?

You need such images not just to document any damage but also to defend yourself in the event of a lawsuit. If you’re like most landlords, you include language in your lease that requires tenants to leave your rental property in the same condition or better when they move out.

You may likely have a condition that says you’ll charge a cleaning fee if the unit isn’t as clean as when the renter moved in. For example, assume you do a move-out inspection and discover that your renter left the rental property in disarray when they departed.

Walking into the property, you see dust and grease on the appliances, bug-infested light fixtures, and dirt and grime tracked throughout the home. You’ll have to clean it up before renting the property, and you should remove the cost from your tenant’s deposit.

You may have an issue if you can’t establish the appliances and floors were not in that condition when your renter moved in. However, most renters will not fight over a cleaning fee of $100 or a little more. On the other hand, if your tenant is unhappy and vindictive, they will likely fight you for every penny you take from their deposit. 

Even if you win in court, you will lose money due to the time you lose on dealing with legal matters. If the judge rules against your former tenant, you may be awarded reimbursement for your court fees, but there’s no guarantee they will pay, and you won’t be able to reclaim that time.

property photos

Establish a Tenant-Facing Lease Termination Process

If you are a landlord, you must have a process for handling lease terminations. But, you must also make things simple for your tenants. Create a tenant-facing approach that allows them to give you notice easily.

For example, you may set up an online portal that allows tenants to send you proper notices through email. Your renters may use the web portal to fill out a form that will capture all of their essential information, such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Reason for Moving
  • Date of move-out
  • Forwarding Address
  • Any additional information you need for your process

However, before you do so, consult with an attorney to confirm that all documentation and processes are lawful.

move-out process on portal

Hire a Property Manager

Dealing with tenant evictions is most likely not your idea of a fun time. But unfortunately, eviction is sometimes necessary to ensure your rental property business thrives. When you hire a property management company like Real Property Management Consultants, we’ll take care of the move-out process for you and manage day-to-day tasks, rent collection, and much more. 

Are you a landlord in Missouri or Kansas looking for ways to simplify your life? Are you tired of dealing with the day-to-day management of your residential rental properties? Our experienced staff will make the tenant move-out process a breeze. No matter how many rental homes you own, we are here to help. To learn more about our services, get in touch with us today.

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