Property Management Blog

Moving Out: A Step-by-Step Guide to Ending Your Lease and Getting Your Security Deposit Back

Richey Property Management - Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Property Management Blog

Are you planning to move out of your current rental property any time soon? Whether it's due to a change in job, a desire for a new home, or any other reason, ending your lease and getting your security deposit back can sometimes feel like a daunting process. But fear not! In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to make your move-out process smooth and hassle-free.

Step 1: Review Your Lease Agreement

The first step in ending your lease is to review the lease agreement you signed when you first rented the property. This document outlines the terms and conditions of your lease, including the length of the lease, the notice period required to end the lease, early termination terms and any specific instructions on how to handle the move-out process. Familiarize yourself with these details to ensure you are in compliance with your lease agreement.

Step 2: Give Proper Notice

Most lease agreements require tenants to provide written notice to their landlord or property management company when they intend to move out. This notice period is typically stated in the lease and may vary from 30 to 60 days. Make sure to provide the notice in writing/email, following the instructions provided in your lease agreement. Be sure to keep a copy of the notice for your records, and if sending by email get confirmation that someone has received your notice.

Step 3: Clean and Repair

Before you move out, thoroughly clean the property to ensure it is in the same condition as when you first moved in. This includes professionally cleaning carpets, walls, appliances, and fixtures. Repair any damages that were not present when you first moved in, such as holes in walls, broken fixtures, or damaged appliances. Make sure to follow any specific instructions provided by your landlord or property manager on cleaning and repairs.

Step 4: Return Keys and Provide Forwarding Address

On your move-out day, return all keys and access cards to your landlord or property manager as per their instructions. Make sure to provide them with a forwarding address where they can send your security deposit refund or any other important documents. Keep a record of the keys and access cards you returned, as well as the date and time of the return.

Step 5: Final Move Out Inspection

Once you have completely moved out, our team will conduct a detailed move out inspection.  If you want to be present, you certainly can be and we will let you know when it is happening.

Step 6: Follow Up on Your Security Deposit

According to the laws in many jurisdictions, landlords are required to return the security deposit, or provide an itemized list of deductions, within a certain period of time after the tenant moves out. In Virginia, this is 45 days after the lease ends.  Make sure to follow up with your landlord or property manager if you do not receive your security deposit or an itemized list of deductions within the required timeframe. If there are any disputes or discrepancies, be prepared to provide evidence, such as photos or videos from the move-in and move-out inspections, to support your claim.

In conclusion, moving out of a rental property requires careful planning and adherence to the terms and conditions of your lease agreement. By following these terms and guidelines, you can ensure a smooth move-out process and increase your chances of getting your security deposit back in full. Remember to review your lease agreement, provide proper notice, schedule a walk-through, clean and repair the property, return keys and provide a forwarding address, and follow up on your security deposit.