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How To Tell Your Landlord You’re Moving Out

How To Tell Your Landlord You’re Moving Out

Telling your landlord you're moving out is a delicate and important conversation. It’s not just courtesy; it also ensures a smooth transition and protects your rights as a tenant. Whether relocating for a new job, upgrading to a larger space, or simply seeking a change of scenery, understanding the right way to inform your landlord is essential. Informing your landlord about moving out is easy if there are no complications. But if you’re trying to break a lease or have roommates who want to continue with the lease, the process can seem uncertain. But worry not. This article will cover the key elements of this conversation, including the right time to do so and handling legal obligations and customary practices.

Moving Out Notice

A move-out notice, or notice to vacate, is a written communication by the tenant to their landlord or property management. It informs them of the tenant’s intention to terminate their lease or rental agreement and vacate the premises. The notice gives you and the landlord a clear timeline and understanding of when you plan to leave. During this time, you can plan the move-out process, and the landlord can find a new tenant.

The Importance of Giving a Move-Out Notice

It is a Legal Requirement

Many lease agreements or local laws require you to provide a written notice before moving out. If you don’t, you may have to pay the rent for the notice period, lose your security deposit, or face other financial penalties.

To Protect Your Security Deposit

When you give the notice, the landlord will conduct a final inspection of the property. They identify any damages or necessary repairs that may be deducted from your security deposit. By addressing these concerns before you leave, you both can agree on the condition of the property. This prevents disputes and ensures you get a return of your security deposit. The process protects your interests and those of your landlord.

Maintains a Good Relationship With Your Landlord

A timely notice demonstrates respect and consideration for your landlord. You’ll maintain a positive relationship with your landlord and leave on good terms. This will benefit you in the future when you need rental references.

To Facilitate a Smooth Transition

Giving a notice helps the landlord prepare for your departure. They can advertise the property, fix issues, and find a new tenant without unnecessary delays. Setting a clear move-out date also helps you plan your move effectively and ensure you're not liable for rent beyond that point. During this period, you can pack for the move, inspect and fix damages, and schedule with a moving company.

Overview of Legal Requirements and Customary Practices

Notice To Vacate

As stated above, you must provide written notice to vacate the rental property within a specified period. The notice period can vary depending on the lease agreement and local laws. For example, state laws in Colorado allow for 21 days of notice, 60 days in Delaware, 15 days in Florida, and 7 days in North Carolina. Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming have no such specific rules. Follow the notice timeframe as per your lease agreement. Your notice should:
  • In writing, in the form of a letter or an email.
  • Be given within the specified time in your lease agreement or local laws (often 30 days' notice, but this can vary).
  • Include your name, the property address, the date you intend to move out, and contact information.
  • While not always required, briefly mention the reason for leaving. This is helpful when you want to break your lease, as you can be penalized. Some circumstances can allow you to terminate your lease without penalty, such as medical reasons, domestic violence, stalking, military deployment, and if the landlord fails to make critical repairs.
  • Provide your forwarding address for returning the security deposit and possible future communication.

Comply With the Terms of the Lease

You must adhere to the conditions and rules in your lease agreement, including move-out terms.  You are expected to return the property in the same condition as when you moved in, minus normal wear and tear. This involves cleaning the unit thoroughly, repairing damages during your tenancy, and addressing any outstanding maintenance issues. Some leases require a final walkthrough with the landlord or property manager. This is an opportunity to discuss any issues and ensure both parties agree about the property's condition. Ensure you move out by the date you provide in your notice. If you stay beyond this date without an extension, there can be additional rent charges or penalties

Return of Security Deposit

Your landlords should return your security deposit. The amount returned is minus deductions for unpaid rent, damages, or cleaning costs.  The specific time frame varies by state or lease agreement, but it’s usually 30-45 days after you vacate. Suppose any deductions are made from the deposit. In that case, the landlord should provide an itemized list of the deductions and receipts for the expenses incurred as part of the deposit return process.


You and the landlord should document the property’s condition before and after your occupancy to support any claims related to security deposits or damages. Common customary practices during the moving process include
  • Communication: Maintain open communication with the landlord throughout the move-out process, informing them of your intentions and any issues that may arise.
  • Cleaning and Repairs: Clean the rental unit and make necessary minor repairs to ensure you return it in good condition.
  • Return of Keys: Return all keys and access devices to the landlord upon vacating the property
  • Final Walkthrough: Schedule a final walkthrough with the landlord or property manager to address any concerns, review the property's condition, and discuss the return of the security deposit.

Sample for a Moving-Out Notice Letter

Here’s a sample/template for a moving-out notice letter. Customize it with your specific information and follow any state or local regulations that may apply to your situation. [Your Name] [Your Current Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number] Subject: Notice to Vacate Dear [Landlord/ Property Manager’s Name], This letter shall serve as my official 30-day notice to vacate. In this written notice, I request to vacate and terminate the lease which was signed on [Month, Date, Year] for the property located at [Address, Apartment Number, City, State, Zip]. I will be vacating the property, at the latest, by [Your Move-Out Date]. My security deposit can be sent to my new address at [Name, Street Address, City, State, Zip]. Thank you, [Your Signature] [Your Name] Remember to sign and date the letter before delivering it to your landlord. It's also a good practice to keep a copy of the notice for your records.

Tips for a Smooth Transition From the Rental Property

Transitioning out of a rental property is no walk in the park. It involves complex legal obligations and planning. But it can be a smooth process if you plan and execute it carefully. Here are tips for a hassle-free move.
  • Provide your landlord with the required written notice within the required timeline, as per your lease agreement.
  • Carefully review your lease agreement to understand any specific move-out requirements, such as cleaning, repairs, notice procedures, and penalties for early termination.
  • Create a checklist to organize your move. Include tasks like packing, hiring movers, and scheduling utility disconnections and reconnections.
  • Take photos or videos of the property's condition before you move out. This documentation can be crucial in cases of disputes over security deposit deductions.
  • Clean the property thoroughly and repair damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • Notify utility companies, cable, and internet providers before your move-out date to avoid being charged for services after you've left. Ensure all bills are settled before leaving.
  • Update your mailing address with the postal service. Inform banks, insurance providers, employers, and other important contacts of your change of address.
  • Transfer or cancel services like gym memberships, subscriptions, and other recurring expenses to your new address.
  • Return all keys, access cards, garage door openers, or any other access devices as specified in your lease agreement.
  • Be aware of your legal obligations and rights as a tenant, and seek legal advice if you encounter issues or disputes during the move-out process.
  • Stick to the agreed-upon move-out date and time to avoid inconveniences to your landlord or the incoming tenant.
  • Plan your move. Schedule movers or rental trucks, gather packing supplies, and ensure you have a well-organized plan for moving your belongings.

Navigate Your Move-Out Process Stress-Free

If you’re considering relocating, the first step is crafting a notice letter to your landlord or property manager. Communicate clearly and comply with the legal requirements for a smooth move-out process. You'll not only uphold your responsibilities but also depart on amicable terms. But for a truly stress-free move, consider hiring a reliable moving company like Evolution Moving. We provide state-wide moving services with highly experienced movers you can trust and transparent pricing with no hidden fees. Get a free quote, and let’s make the transition to your new home a hassle-free experience. 


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