Living in a rental home can be quite rewarding. Yes, you don’t own the place, but there are many perks that come with that, such as not having to pay huge amounts of money like you would if you’re buying, having the freedom to move whenever you want, and the fact that you just don’t have as many responsibilities towards the property itself. But there are some cons to it too, and the biggest of those is when you decide to move out. The process itself is not fun in general, and it can be even more taxing if you’re relocating from a rental property. There are a few things you’re going to need to keep in mind if you want to move out of your rental home the right way.

Notifying the owner

That’s the first thing you need to do, and it’s not really optional. You might have an obligatory notice period stated in the leasing agreement, which you should review, but even if there isn’t such a clause, you should still notify them well in advance –– 30 days is the accepted standard. It’s just common courtesy to do so. You need to remember that the person leasing the house probably needs the rent money on a regular basis. And if you don’t give them enough notice, you might be causing them some serious problems because they’ll have to find a new tenant as soon as possible, which isn’t always easy. You should also do it in writing, or you might find yourself forced to pay another month’s rent. 

Check the lease agreement

As mentioned earlier, you’re going to have to review the leasing agreement, because there might be certain stipulations in it that you’ll have to accommodate before moving out. For instance, maybe the notice period is more than 30 days, and there might be certain clauses concerning the utility transfers and maintenance of the place. In any case, you have to review the lease carefully to understand exactly what will be required of you to hand in the place and get your security deposit back. That way you’ll also get to better prepare for the process as you know what you must do, and what might be optional and can be neglected.


Whether it’s mentioned in the leasing agreement or not, you’re going to have to clean the place before you go. You might not get your security deposit back if you hand in the place in a state of total mess. Professional cleaners at explain the importance of end of tenancy cleaning and how it might be something you’ll need professional help with. Sure, you can get some detergents and try to do it yourself, but you’ll miss several spots and areas that a professional wouldn’t, and you can rest assured that the landlord will notice such discrepancies. That alone can jeopardize you getting back your security deposit, and you’d just be giving the owner a reason to complain and possibly not refund you. 

This is why it’s best if you have professional cleaners do it, because not only can they thoroughly clean the house in ways you possibly couldn’t, but they’ll also have much better equipment and better detergents and cleaners that will ensure a better result. 

Inspect for damage and fix any

Whether you’ve been living in the place for four months or four years, chances are you’ve done a little damage here and there. It might be a hole in the wall or a leaking radiator. In any case, you have to ensure that you return the property exactly as you received it. So, you need to inspect it yourself and look for any damage or problems you might have caused over your tenancy. That includes fixing holes, scratches, or dents in walls and doors, replacing any broken items, repainting walls to their original colors if you remodelled, fixing any issues with plumbing and electrical systems, and so on. You have to basically make sure the house is as good as new, or at least as good as when you first received it. 

Don’t go overboard and do anything extra, and if you do, save the receipts because you can ask the owner for a refund if you made some improvements to the initial state of the property. But in general, it’s not a good idea to do so.

Have the landlord inspect the place

You then naturally want the landlord to come and inspect the place, and you need to document that visit one way or another. You can record the entire inspection on video if you want, or even better, have them sign a document stating that they received the place in excellent condition and that no more repairs are needed. This is especially important if you don’t trust the owners and think they might come back to you asking for more repair money even after you’ve moved out. 

Make sure the bills are paid

You naturally have to make sure that all the bills are paid before you move out, because you can rest assured that the landlord will check whether or not you’ve paid them all. And they have the right to deduct any bills from your security deposit if you had failed to pay them before leaving. So, make sure you have everything covered, from taxes to utility bills and service fees –– internet, cable, and so on. Pro tip: speaking of service fees, it’s a good idea to inform each and every service provider you’re dealing with that you’re moving out, so they should disconnect the service. The last thing you want is being billed for the next tenant’s cable because you forgot to cancel. 

Moving out of a rental home can be quite exhausting, but with a little organization and some discipline, it can go smoothly. Just make sure the property is in good shape before you hand it in, and cover all your bases so that you can get your full security deposit back. You could also leave your new mailing address to the landlord in case they need anything, as a gesture of good faith between you two. 

Categories: Uncategorized

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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