As your lease term comes to an end, we will contact you to find out what your intentions are. We’ll discuss all potential options with you, including a lease renewal or your decision to move out. If you decide that it’s time to move on, we will be specific and clear with what we expect from you before you go. At Specialized Property Management, we enjoyed having you as a tenant. We hope you’ve had a good rental experience. And, we are here to answer any questions or offer any support as you’re preparing to move on.
When you make the decision to move out of your rental property, we have a handy list of guidelines that we need you to follow. This will ensure a smooth transition for our team and for you. It will also help you increase your chances of having your security deposit returned and receiving a good reference from us if we’re every contacted by a new property management company or landlord who is conducting your background check.
Let’s work together to make the move-out process efficient and hassle-free for everyone.
Clean Up the Property and Return it to Move-In Condition
When you received your property at the beginning of the lease, it was perfectly clean, and everything in it worked. So, the first thing you need to do on your move-out checklist is to clean the home. The expectation is that you will do everything necessary to return the property to its original good, clean condition.
Remove all of your personal items. You’ll also want to make sure all of your trash is taken out of the house and the yard. It’s important not to leave things behind in the property, even if you think the next tenant might want to use it. We want to receive a property that’s completely empty. You’ll be charged a removal fee for anything that is left behind.
Once you have moved all of your belongings out of the property, it’s time to turn your attention to the appliances. Clean all appliances thoroughly. This should include the microwave, range hood, inside the refrigerator, and the dishwasher. Make sure there isn’t any food sticking to the stove, and wipe the dust off the top of the refrigerator. Pull the appliances away from the wall (gently) so you can sweep up crumbs, debris, and dust.
It’s also important that you thoroughly clean all of your sinks, cabinets, and drawers. Wipe down the hardware and make sure they are empty. You’ll want to wash any non-carpeted floors to remove any stains or marks. If there are carpeted rooms in the home, have them professionally cleaned before you move out.
Wipe down the walls of the home, especially around light switches, where fingerprints are often found. Clean the walls in the hallways, and make sure you dust and wipe down the doors and the baseboards. We also ask you to clean all of the windows. Check the screens and make sure they’re secure. Then, remove any cobwebs that have gathered on the inside or outside of the home.
Bathrooms need to be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. Give special attention to the sinks and the tubs and don’t forget to take down your shower curtain. Clean the floors and remove any hair or debris from drains.
If there’s any damage that has been caused by you or your pets, make sure it’s repaired before you move out. Check your lease to see what your responsibilities are in terms of lawn care. If you are responsible for the lawn care, you will need to mow the grass, trim the bushes, and remove any debris from the yard. Make arrangements to have your trash removed before you discontinue the service. Do not leave trash and garbage in the recycle cans or on the premises.
We also ask that you change any light bulbs that aren’t working as well as the air filter. Your agent can provide you with a more comprehensive checklist upon request.
Switch Over Utility Accounts
After you have ensured that the property is in good, clean condition, you’ll want to be prepared to turn off your utilities. Most tenants schedule the utilities to be shut off on the last day of your lease agreement. You’ll want to make sure your name is no longer attached to these accounts, especially if you want to set up service elsewhere.
Once the place is completely empty and clean and you have handled the utility accounts, you are ready to say goodbye to the property. We ask that you return the keys as well as any passes or garage door openers to our office. Please plan to drop them off no later than noon on the final move-out day.
Understanding Your Security Deposit
Once you have moved out, you will likely be wondering when you can expect to receive your security deposit. We have a process that we need to follow in accordance with Florida law. The security deposit process was explained to you when you moved in, and you can find information in your residential lease agreement that documents the amount you paid and explains the agreed-upon refund procedure. Your lease is also useful in explaining how to avoid incurring additional charges.
You will not be charged for ordinary wear and tear. This is the responsibility of the property owner, and we are very careful to identify wear and tear and not charge your deposit for these things. Wear and tear defines the natural and gradual deterioration of the property over time that results from the tenant’s normal use of the residence. Wear and tear happens no matter who is living there, and it’s generally something that’s hard to avoid. Every home is going to be affected by general usage, and the tenants are not held responsible for it.
For example, carpeting and paint wear out over the normal course of living in a home no matter how careful the tenant is. So, normal wear and tear might include small holes in the walls from nails where you hung pictures. It might include scuff marks on the paint from where you had a sofa against the wall. If there is wear on a carpet in a high-traffic area, that’s probably going to be considered normal wear and tear.
Fees will be incurred for damage beyond the normal wear and tear. We are legally entitled to charge your security deposit for any damage that’s left behind or due to abuse or neglect. This includes damage caused by negligence when something should have been done to prevent the damage. Failure to warn us about a problem which then led to a greater problem and more expensive damage could cost you a security deposit deduction. Anything that is the result of your abuse or misuse of the property can come out of your security deposit.
If the tenant purposely destroys the property, there will definitely be a charge against the security deposit and sometimes, additional fees. If you used the property for a purpose that it shouldn’t have been used or if you made changes to the property without the owner’s approval, your security deposit will be charged. So, if you repainted during the tenancy and used a color other than the color that was on the walls when you moved in, we will charge you to repaint the home.
Sometimes, there’s accidental damage that occurs by mistake. We know that when accidents happen, they are not because you purposely damaged the property. However, it’s still an expense your security deposit will have to cover.
When we’re determining what is classified as wear and tear and what looks like damage, we consider the extent of the repairs that are needed, the length of your residence, and the character and construction of the building. In general, most of our tenants in the past have found that it’s less expensive when you take care of the damage on your own. Otherwise, those things will have to be fixed professionally and the money will be kept from your security deposit.
In accordance with Florida law, we will let you know within 30 days after you’ve moved out whether we intend to withhold any part of your security deposit. We’ll return all or part of the deposit, and provide an itemized list of expenses to explain what we kept and why. When you come to our office to return your keys, make sure you have a forwarding address that you can give us so we know where to send your deposit.
These are some of the things that you’ll need to keep on your move-out checklist as you prepare to leave your property and start new somewhere else. If you have any questions about what you need to do before leaving the property or how to ensure you get your security deposit back, please contact us at Specialized Property Management in Orlando. We hope you enjoyed your stay in one of our properties, and we are here if you ever need rental housing again.