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Essential Move-Out Tips for Apartment Tenants: Avoid Fines

Essential Move-Out Tips for Apartment Tenants: Avoid Fines

Feb 6, 2024

If your apartment lease is about to expire and you're planning to move out, it's crucial as a tenant to strictly adhere to the rules. Not being aware of these could end up costing you a hefty fine! Wondering what you need to keep in mind when moving out? Follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth transition.

Submit a Move-Out Notice

This step is crucial. Submitting a written Move-Out Notice 60 days prior to moving out will inform the Leasing Office of your intention not to renew your lease. Failing to move out apartment by expiration could incur extra rent charges as per your lease terms. Usually, leasing offices send Move-Out Notice forms directly to mailboxes or under doors three months before your lease ends; check frequently and sign it if received! If not received 60 days before expiration day arrives, you can find templates online, fill them out and submit them directly back to the Leasing Office instead.

Apartment Cleaning

Take the cleaning of your apartment before moving out seriously. It's recommended to start a week before your move, packing up all your belongings and cleaning the space to return it to its original condition. Normal wear and tear are generally acceptable, but consider the following:

Apartment Cleaning

1. If the carpet looks dirty or worn, get it professionally cleaned (as many leases require).

2. Clean the walls and patch any large holes.

3. Repair any damage you've caused in the apartment.

4. Clean the bathroom tiles, toilet, and shower area to remove any buildup of mold or dirt.

5. Take photos of the apartment's condition when moving out.

Failure to clean properly or restore certain aspects can result in fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars! Hiring a professional cleaning service is often the best way to meet the apartment's checklist requirements.

Returning the Keys

There are four key points to remember when returning your keys:

1. Return them to the designated place (usually the apartment office), not left in the room.

2. Lock the door before returning the keys.

3. All keys given to you at move-in, including room, unit, and mailbox keys, must be returned by the specified time to avoid fees.

4. Some apartments require the return of the original keys provided and do not accept copies made later.

5. Closing Utility Accounts (For Some Apartments)

If your apartment doesn't include all utilities, make sure to pay off the last month's bills for any utilities you're responsible for before moving out. Remember to shut off or transfer your electricity, internet, and water accounts.

Security Deposit Return

Once you've moved out and handed back the keys, the landlord or property manager will check the apartment to make sure everything's in order before returning your security deposit. Don't forget to leave the correct name for the check and your new mailing address with the landlord. If all goes smoothly, you should receive your deposit back within 30 days of moving out (as per your lease agreement), either by check or another method.

Security Deposit

If you notice any deductions from your deposit, be sure to contact your landlord promptly. Typically, the apartment will itemize and mail out any deductions. If you find any of the charges unreasonable, feel free to call or email the landlord or manager to discuss. Since everyone's situation is different, if something seems off, negotiating with your landlord or manager is always an option.

Final Thoughts

Moving out of an apartment requires more than simply packing up your belongings. By following these steps, not only are you protecting yourself from potential fines but also making your transition more straightforward to your next residence. Communication between yourself and your landlord or leasing office should remain a top priority during this process; keeping a record of correspondences, notices and condition reports from the apartment can help safeguard your interests and ensure a stress-free move-out experience - and ultimately giving yourself an ideal start at your new residence!


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