Biggest Mistakes/Lessons Learned: Tenant Move Out

3 Replies

Hello everyone! 

My name is Ken and my first tenant will be moving out on November 1st. 

I have done some research online about Tenant Move-Out checklist for landlords, but I thought it would be great to learn from the Pros on BP community. Please comment below or send me a direct message!   : ) 

Thank you and have a great day! 


@Ken N. I am sure others will have some good tips but I would recommend outlining ahead of time what your walk through process will be with the tenants. This way the expectations are kept in check. We do not allow the tenant to follow us around looking over our shoulder the whole time. I had that happen with one of my first walk through's and it was very unnerving. The tenant was trying to intimidate me but I held my ground and kept my cool.  I got out of there as quickly as possible. It's not a situation I allowed myself to be put in again. If we have to, we do a very quick walk through with the tenant there and then go back and do a more thorough one after they have turned keys over. We try to keep things as cordial as possible but that can be difficult if the tenant is leaving on a sour note. 

@Ken N. Don't walk through with the tenant. Send the tenant a move out checklist ahead of time. Tell them to send you an address where you can send their deposit refund. Tell them when they're all done to leave the keys on the counter or in the garage and to text you so that you can secure the unit. Then walk through at your leisure and send them a statement and either deposit refund or bill.

Even when we are non-renewing and I've agreed to a cash on the spot refund to get someone out in a timely manner without an eviction. I have them wait in their car while I walk through. If you do a cash on the spot refund make sure all leaseholders sign a receipt for the deposit refund.

This is based on the requirements for the state of OHio where I operate. Make sure you know any special requirements in your city/state.

@Ken N. walk through when empty.  Boxes are always stacked on top of damage.  Check the function of things and look for damages after cleaning. I just did a turnover where the floor was so dirty you couldn't see multiple exacto knife cuts in the linoleum. Be prepared and let them know if there is major hidden damage discovered after walk through they can be charged for it. However you also should try to pick up everything on walk thru.  You aren't going to run a dishwasher etc on walk through so those kinds of things you may not pick up immediately.