During a smooth move out process, tenants will understand what’s expected of them. They’ll leave the property in good, clean condition, and they’ll provide a forwarding address so the security deposit can be quickly returned.
As the owner of a Mobile rental property, your responsibility is to ensure your tenants understand your expectations and to be available to them if they have questions as they are moving out and moving on.
Here are some of the steps you need to take to ensure the process is efficient and effective.
1. Review Your Lease Agreement
Your lease agreement will tell the tenant how much notice is necessary. Once you receive your tenant’s notice to vacate, double check the rental contract to ensure they are compliant with that notice requirement. Confirm the move out dates with the tenant and make sure you’ll be available on that date so you can answer any questions and collect the keys and forwarding address if necessary.
Share the move out requirements with your tenants. All of these should be included in the lease agreement, but it’s helpful to pull them out and highlight them for the tenant before they depart. If you require any cleaning standards to be met for example, remind the tenants in writing. Creating a tenant checklist can keep them organized and aware of your expectations before they leave.
2. Conduct a Move Out Inspection
Hopefully, you conducted a thorough inspection before the tenant moved in and took possession of the property. You’ll want to use that checklist to conduct the inspection after your tenant moves out as well. This is the best way to compare the condition of the property then to its condition now.
With the checklist in hand, walk through the property. Note and photograph any damages or cleaning charges that will come out of the tenant’s security deposit. Document everything that might result in a charge against the security deposit. This is the only way to protect yourself against the potential for that tenant disputing the claims.
3. Return the Security Deposit
Returning the security deposit can be difficult unless you have a good process and detailed documentation. Alabama law requires you to return your tenant’s security deposit within 35 days of the tenant moving out. If you’re late, you could face a penalty that equals twice the amount of the original deposit amount.
Before your tenant vacates, get a forwarding address so you can send the security deposit back within those 35 days. If you don’t have a forwarding address, send it to the last known address. If you make a claim against the security deposit or keep any of the tenant’s funds, make sure you have itemized what the charges are and why they were made. Include receipts, invoices, or repair estimates.
Next, you’ll prepare for the turnover of the property. Make sure you have your vendors and contractors lined up to take care of any maintenance and cleaning issues. Consider investing in some upgrades and updates during this period that might help you earn more on your Mobile rental property.
If you need help managing the move out process or any part of the leasing and management of your rental property, please don’t hesitate to contact us at IRBY Property Management.