The move out process begins long before the tenants turn in their keys. About 60 days prior to the end of a lease, Grand Rapids property managers will send a renewal letter to their tenants. This letter will lay out several options. They can renew, in which case the new rental rate will be listed. They can choose to rent month to month without a new lease, and then the rent is usually about $100 more per month than it would be with a lease. Or, they can decide they want to move out of the property.
Any time a tenant wants to move, it’s a good idea to find out why. If it’s because the carpet is dirty, perhaps new carpet will make them happy and they’ll decide to stay. Usually, good tenants will move out for a reason beyond your control. Roommates might be splitting up or parents are divorcing. If you’re treating your tenants well and taking care of your property, they should want to stay in a house that’s a good fit for them.
Once you know your tenants are moving and you’ll have a vacancy, put the property on the market. You’ll need to put a professional sign in the yard, and your lease should explain your marketing plans and your intention to show the property after notice has been given. This is hard to enforce if your tenants refuse to cooperate, but set up the expectation before you start showing the home. Ask your tenants to keep the place clean and presentable so you’re able to rent it out before it’s vacant.
After your current tenants have moved out, immediately conduct an inspection. Take a lot of pictures, just like you did during the move in inspection. Compare the condition of the property at move in to the way it looks at move out. If there are damages, bill your tenants for those repairs. Complete a damage report, which is required in nearly all states. This is where you itemize the damages and any past due rent or other charges that the tenants owe.
Send the damage report summary as well as any remaining deposit money back to the tenants. It’s their responsibility to provide you with a forwarding address within four days of moving out. If they don’t let you know what their new address is, you don’t have to spend your time tracking them down in order to send out the damage report and the security deposit. When you have money to send them and you don’t have a forwarding address, simply send it to their last known address and when it comes back, make a copy of it and file it. This will demonstrate you tried to return the deposit and send the damage report. It will keep you out of legal trouble.
Please contact us at United Properties if you need any help getting a tenant moved out of your property, or if you have questions about the process.