Moving out of your rental property can be a very hectic time, but there are a number of steps you need to take during the move-out process
- Make sure you have provided prior notice to your landlord for when you will be vacating the premises. Some landlords require 60 days or more notice, but to find out your specific situation, check your lease and call to make sure you have notified them appropriately. If the lease doesn’t specify how much notice you must give, the law still requires you to give 30 days notice. You must provide this notice in writing.
- Provide your landlord with a forwarding address, so that they know where to mail your security deposit (preferably sent by certified mail), and always keep a copy for your records. If you provide a forwarding address, a landlord is required to return your security deposit, minus any charges they can legally deduct from it, within 30 days, however, if you do not provide a forwarding address, after a year the landlord can legally keep your deposit.
- Clean your apartment/house thoroughly! Remember: Your landlord can deduct money from you security deposit for damages and items not properly cleaned.
- Fill out a move-out checklist, documenting the condition of the property once you have moved out. Give a copy to your landlord and make sure to keep a copy for your own records.
- Take pictures and video-tape the unit. When video-taping the unit, make sure to document the date (i.e. Hold a newspaper from that day and video-tape this). NOTE: When video-taping, make sure to do this in one taping (do not pause or stop the tape at any time!).
- Don't forget to return the keys to the landlord by the end of the lease term!
Return of Your Security Deposit
Your landlord is required to return your entire security deposit, or an itemized list of deductions and any remaining deposit, within 30 days of the end of the lease term (assuming they were provided with a forwarding address in writing before the lease term was over). If you are having issues with the return of your security deposit, or believe that the landlord is unfairly withholding a portion of it, contact the Student Legal Services office at 319.335.3276