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What Landlords Should Know About Move-out Letters

Move out letters

As a rental property owner, you are expected to keep track of essential documents and will need to create a few yourself. Landlords are expected to write notices and other business letters, one of which is move-out letters.

Move-out letters are necessary notices to send to your tenants just before the end of the tenancy. The purpose of move-out letters is to remind tenants that their lease term is coming to an end so that they can make the necessary plans for moving out. 

Landlords are recommended to write a detailed and strategic move-out letter to protect their rental property. Move-out letters prevent delays in vacating the property, and they are also a good way to remind tenants of their responsibilities to leave the property in good condition.

What Is a Move-Out Letter?

Move-out letters are notices that landlords send to their tenants a few weeks or a couple of months before the lease term expires. A comprehensive move-out letter should include the date the tenant is expected to leave the property which is typical, the day when the lease term ends. 

Move-out letters are typically not mandatory. It remains the landlord’s prerogative as to whether or not to provide the tenant with a move-out notice before they leave the unit. However, experts believe that sending out move-out letters can help reduce the risk of disputes later on. This is because the move-out letter should clearly indicate the expectations of the landlord. 

Black metal mailbox with a red flag signaling mail has been delivered

Typically, tenants are expected to return the rental unit in the same condition as it was when they first moved into the property. This means that tenants should make sure that the property has the same level of cleanliness as when it was first turned over to them during the start of the lease. 

The move-out letter should also include your inspection procedures, so if there are any damages that are not part of normal wear and tear, the tenant will have an opportunity to get them fixed. This way, the tenant won’t risk losing part of the security deposit.

Benefits of Writing a Move-Out Letter

While sending a move-out letter is not required, there are several benefits both landlords and tenants may find advantageous, including the following:

Builds a Good Relationship Between the Landlord and Tenant

A move-out letter is a great way to thank the tenant for staying at your property, for being a good tenant, and for abiding by the terms and conditions of the lease. It’s also a great way to include your contact details in case the tenant would need to list you as a reference for their next tenancy application.

Two people wear dark colored suits shaking hands across a desk with a document on it

Acts as a Reminder

In most cases, a move-out letter is a good way to remind tenants that their lease term is coming to an end. This allows them to make the necessary arrangements to prepare for moving out. It’s also a chance for you to remind tenants of their move-out responsibilities to avoid any delays and disputes with the return of the security deposit.

Saves You Time

Preparing to re-rent a property can be time-consuming. If you fail to remind tenants to leave the property in good condition, it might take extra time for you to perform the necessary repairs and cleanings. The more time you need to prepare a property for rent, the longer the property would stay vacant. It means your property won’t generate income.

Tips for Writing a Good Move-Out Letter

What you should include in your move-out letters may vary from one tenant to another. In general, you should include the following basic details:

  • The date of delivery, whether it’s handed in personally or through a certified mail
  • Your contact information, including your phone number and email address, as well as the best time to contact you
  • The date the tenant should move out of the property, usually at the end of the lease term
  • If the tenant is a good renter, it’s an opportunity for you to propose a lease renewal

Hand placing yellow envelope into a silver mailbox

  • Provide final inspection plans, including the move-out inspection schedule and whether tenants are requested to be present during the inspection or not
  • For the aspects of the property that the tenant is expected to clean, it’s best to attach a copy of the move-in checklist so tenants can use this as a point of reference
  • Attach a move-out checklist, which indicates the things that tenants need to check, clean, and repair before vacating the property 
  • Instructions for leaving the keys
  • The process of returning the security deposit, including the possible deductions and when and how it should be returned to the tenant

Frequently Asked Questions About Move-Out Letters?

The following are some questions that often come up regarding move-out letters:

What’s the Difference Between an Eviction Notice and Move Out Letters?

The eviction notice is a document to start an eviction process due to various reasons, such as not abiding by the terms of the lease. A move-out letter is a notice sent to tenants who are coming to the end of their lease. This does not involve any legal eviction process, just the usual lease expiry.

When Should I Send the Move Out Letter?

Depending on the local ordinances, the timeline for sending move-out letters may vary. It’s best to check the local regulations to ensure that you remain compliant. Usually, move-out letters are not mandatory. However, it’s recommended that you send one to your tenants around 60 to 90 days before the lease term ends.

Bottom Line

The move-out letter presents landlords with the opportunity to remind tenants of their responsibilities to the property before the end of the lease. If you would like help drafting one or managing your rentals, contact the team at Florida Property Management & Sales.