Tenant Move Out Checklist

When it’s time for a tenant to move out, a checklist can be extremely helpful in maintaining the conditions of your property. It will make the move out process a breeze and give both tenants and landlords peace of mind.

What is a Move Out Checklist?

Similar to a tenant welcome letter, a move out checklist is a straightforward form that outlines a landlord’s expectations and requirements for a tenant during the move out process. Every checklist is different, depending on the landlord and the property. However, the form should always be included in the original lease agreement so the tenant is aware of their obligations from the beginning.

The move out checklist usually specifies specific cleaning and tidying procedures that should be completed by the tenant before leaving. In addition, move out checklists contain expectations for the working quality of appliances and electronics included in the unit. The form should also explain what the procedure is for returning the keys to the property.

Why Do You Need a Move Out Checklist?

A move out checklist is a great way of reinforcing your lease agreement’s terms. They are also especially important when it comes to security deposits or key money. If you require your tenant with a security deposit at the beginning of the lease term, this means you must pay it back to them at the end of it. Security deposits are typically held onto by a landlord to pay for damages caused by tenants.

The checklist will ensure the tenant knows what must be completed, and will also help keep the landlord organized. Landlords will be able to look back on the checklist while inspecting the property after move out and verify if anything needs to be charged to the tenant. If the tenant follows instructions and completes the tasks on the move out checklist properly, then the security deposit will be paid back in full.

Example of a Move Out Checklist

As mentioned previously, every landlord’s move out checklist will be different. Maintaining the conditions of your property should be of utmost importance, so making sure you include every important detail is crucial. Some landlords like to break up procedures by room, but others may bulk all of the tasks together. Here’s an example of a simple, basic move out checklist:

  • Please call a few days in advance to notify the landlord of the day you will be moving out, so an inspection can be scheduled.
  • Unit must be cleaned thoroughly, swept, mopped, and/or vacuumed.
  • The kitchen and bathroom(s) must be completely clean.
  • All walls must be clean and painted the same color as before tenancy began (unless explicit permission to do otherwise was given).
  • Clean all windows.
  • Make sure to remove all personal belongings and possessions from the unit.
  • Remove all trash from inside and outside the unit and dispose of it properly.
  • Make sure all appliances and electronics that came with the unit are present and in working condition.
  • All light fixtures should be in working condition.
  • All electric should work properly.
  • All plumbing should work properly.
  • All heating and air conditioning should work properly.
  • All smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should work properly.
  • Make sure the landlord is aware of any damages or broken appliances/utilities.
  • Return all keys (including mailbox key, if applicable) to the landlord by the designated move out date.

All of the aforementioned procedures must be completed by your designated move out date in order to receive your security deposit back in full. If these procedures are not completed, you may be charged.

Any and all repairs, repainting, trash removal, cleaning, and/or any other expenses that are attributed to restoring your home to its condition prior to your tenancy will be deducted from your security deposit.

If additional money is needed to restore the unit, Landlord will send Tenant a bill and/or file a legal suit for said money in court. Your Security Deposit will be mailed within 30 days of your move-out inspection to the address you provide Landlord (if no new address is given, any remaining security deposit money will be mailed to current mailing address and the Post Office will be responsible for forwarding any/all mail to your new listed address). Please also note the replace/repair cost(s) for items you leave in disarray.

Please remember to deliver your home in the same condition it was in prior to your tenancy.

Tenant Signature ______________
Landlord Signature _____________
Date _________