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Vacate Notice Letter: How to tell your landlord you’re moving
7 steps to making your move easier, plus a free vacate notice letter template
Telling your landlord you’re moving may seem easy enough (and it can be!). But if your situation isn’t 100% straightforward—maybe you’re trying to break your lease or your roommates want to continue renting the apartment—you might feel a little stuck or uncertain. Notifying your landlord that you are moving doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow your lease requirements. And by proactively communicating with your landlord, you may even be able to get out of your lease if you need to move early. Here’s how to notify your landlord that you are moving and how to create a vacate notice letter.
7 Steps to preparing to move and providing a vacate notice letter
1. Read your lease.
Make sure you know what you agreed to when you moved in and coordinate your move-out date with the end of your lease.
While most properties require a 30-day notice, some require 45 or even 60 (oof!).
Check out Roost’s What to know before you sign that lease agreement for additional guidance.
Your lease agreement will also tell you about any financial penalties you may incur if you move out before the end of your lease.
2. Provide a vacate notice letter to your landlord or property manager.
Many property managers and landlords require a written vacate notice letter (email or mail) in advance of your move, usually at least 30 days in advance.
Make sure you put it in writing and determine if you need to deliver a hard copy in addition to an electronic one. Use the template below to cover the areas needed to satisfy your lease agreement.
If your rental property uses a property management system, you may be required to submit your vacate notice through their online portal.
If your move-out date coincides with your lease renewal you’ve most likely already received communication from your landlord about renewal offers etc.
“I tell all of my tenants that if they notify me as soon as they know they’re moving,” says Samuels. “Then I’ll work with them on the specific move-out date and prorate them any rent for only the days they lived there. In exchange for the flexible moving date, we ask that they allow us to show the property to new prospective tenants when needed.“
— Bill Samuel of Blue Ladder Development
3. Ask about the process and requirements for moving out.
Your property management may expect you to reserve and extra parking spot for the moving truck or may allow moving during approved hours only. If you’re renting a pod make sure you aren’t required to get a permit for it.
Following the policies is key to ensuring you get your entire security deposit back.
4. Clean out your storage unit or garage.
If you’ve been renting a storage unit or garage at your apartment complex, make sure you remove all of your items from it before you move out. This will save you scrambling on moving day and worse yet, forgetting your stuff.
5. Take care of your trash and junk.
Don’t leave anything behind for your landlord. They’ll have to charge you and you’re less likely to get a good reference in the future.
Consider selling off stuff before your move if you don’t want to take it with you but it still has value.
Take some car loads to the Goodwill.
Finally, schedule to have a service like 1800GotJunk to show up at the tail end of your move and remove all the trash that you cannot haul away.
Don’t dump unwanted furniture in the apartment complex dumpster, you may get charged a hefty fee for forcing them to dispose of your bulky items.
6. Pay your bills and call your service providers.
Don’t forget to pay your bills in full and ensure utility services are moved, so you aren’t stuck paying for services at two addresses after you’ve moved — and so your landlord doesn’t have to pay them, either.
Here are some tips for moving your internet and TV service.
7. Leave your forwarding address
Make sure to leave your forwarding address with your landlord. You’ll get your security deposit refund a lot faster!
And don’t forget to contact the post office to make sure all of your mail is forwarded to your new place. You can do this online and it takes just a couple of minutes.
Vacate notice letter template
Dear (Name of landlord or property manager),
Thank you for renting (unit X) to me, but I have decided to move. This communication satisfies my lease requirement to give you (X) day’s notice. I will deliver all keys for the property to the business office before my move-out date on (XX/XX/XXXX).
Please advise me on when my security deposit of $ (amount agreed upon in your lease) will be returned, as well as if you anticipate any reason to not refund the full amount. Please let me know if there is a policy for moving out of the building that I need to follow. I can be reached by (this email and/or enter phone number).
My new address is:
(enter an address here)
Ways to make fast cash when you are moving
Moving can be a stressful and costly experience. Here are some ideas to make fast cash to help you cover expenses while you’re waiting for your security deposit refund.
- Sell your stuff fast . There are a ton of places to sell everything from clothing to old music instruments you don’t play anymore. Pro-tip, don’t put off trying to sell your stuff till the last minute. The sooner you start, the more money you’ll make because it won’t feel like a must-go-now fire sale.
- Drive for Uber Eats. Setting up an Uber Eats account and delivering food can happen as fast as within 24-48 hours. If you have a car and need to scrape together fast cash to cover moving this is a great option and keeps you from relying on credit cards.
- Sell gift cards for cash. If you’ve got a bunch of gift cards sitting around that you haven’t used. Don’t drag them to the next junk drawer of your new place. You can sell them for cash or trade them for a gift card for a service that you could use right now, like a truck rental agency.
Looking for more ideas on how to make fast cash (legally, ahem) to cover your move? Check out our article How to make fast cash.
FAQs about moving out of your rental
What if I’m leaving, but my roommates are staying behind?
If you’re moving but your roommates are not, you should still provide a vacate notice letter to the landlord. Read your lease carefully to see if it includes specific requirements for multi-tenant renting.
Many landlords will not refund you a portion of the security deposit if you are moving out early or a roommate is staying. You will need to work out with your roommate directly getting your portion of the security deposit you paid.
Check to make sure you are removed from the lease and will not be held liable for the condition of the apartment after you move-out. Some leases may state that they will not remove you from the lease until it is over and all roommates have moved out.
Can I give notice early – 60 or 90 days before my departure?
Yes, you can always choose to give notice early, but you should never give notice late.
When you give notice early, you make the process easier on your landlord and gives them more time to find a new tenant for your unit.
This can accelerate the process and make your move-out go more smoothly. To prevent confusion, be sure the date you plan to vacate is clearly stated.
If I give notice to vacate within 60 days, do I still have to pay rent if I leave in 30?
Unless your landlord or property manager has already found a renter eager to move-in earlier than expected, you will be expected to pay rent through the move-out date you originally told them.
Can I break my lease if I don’t have money to pay the last month’s rent?
In general there is always a penalty for breaking a lease. If you break it to avoid paying the last month you could find that your entire security deposit will be used to make up for it and you may find yourself in small claims court.
Always talk to your landlord if you are struggling to see if you can work out something amicably.
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