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How to tell your landlord you’re moving
Plus, a handy vacate notice template to notify your landlord in writing
How to tell your landlord you moving, especially if your lease is not up, can be stressful. But sometimes you have to do it. Telling your landlord you are moving doesn’t have to be difficult if you are smart about it. Here’s how to make that happen.
7 steps towards telling your landlord you are moving
- Reread 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 30-days notice, some require 45 or even 60 (oof!). Check out Roost’s What do know before you sign that lease agreement for additional guidance.
- Tell your landlord you are moving out. Many property managers and landlords require written notice 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. See the template below to cover the areas needed to satisfy your lease agreement.
“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, open communication is most important.
- Ask about the process and requirements for moving out. You may need to wrap doors and walls, protect elevators, reserve an extra parking spot or move during approved hours. Following the policies is key to ensuring you get your entire security deposit back.
- Clean out your storage unit. If your rental property has a storage unit space, make sure you remove all of your items from it before you move out so you’re not scrambling the day of the move, or worse yet, forget.
- Take care of your trash/junk. Don’t leave anything for your landlord to take care of. They’ll have to charge you and you’re less likely to get a good reference in the future. Schedule to have a service like 1800GotJunk show up at the tail end of your move.
- Pay all your bills and call your providers. Don’t forget to pay any bills in full and ensure utility services are shut off 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.
- Request a change of address. Contact the post office to make sure to get your mail at your new place. You can do this online and it takes just a couple of minutes.
Here’s a handy template for your vacate notice (email or letter)
Dear (Name of landlord or manager),
Thank you for renting (unit X) to me this last year, 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 on or before the date indicated above.
Please advise me on when my security deposit of $ (amount agreed upon in your lease) will be returned, as well as if you see any reason to not refund the full amount. Also, 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)
Signature (if letter)
FAQs about moving out
1. What if I’m leaving but my roommates are staying behind?
In this situation, the party who is vacating (you) should still give proper notice to the landlord. Read your lease carefully to see if it includes specific requirements for multi-tenant renting. There may be an abbreviated inspection of some part of the property — for example, that tenant’s bedroom — to verify that his or her security deposit can be returned.
2. 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 much more convenient for your landlord, which can accelerate things. To prevent confusion, be sure the date you plan to vacate is very clearly stated.
3. If I’m served notice to vacate within 60 days, do I still have to pay rent if I leave in 30?
You should consult with an attorney for information that is accurate in your situation. In general, however, a notice to vacate is intended to be followed “within” a certain timeframe, rather than “on” the last day of the timeframe. If you vacate early, you may not need to pay further rent.
4. Can I break my lease if I don’t have money to pay the last month’s rent?
Your lease will contain stipulations about any situations like this. Generally, if you’re short only one month of rent, you can amicably make arrangements to pay in the future or use part of your security deposit. The important thing to do is talk with your landlord.
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