Ensuring a successful tenant move-out process at your Portsmouth rental property may not always be easy. If not handled well, it can lead to severe property damage, financial loss, and, subsequently, stress. It is, therefore, essential to have a well-laid move-out procedure in place and protect your investment.
Some key steps that lead to a successful move-out process are as follows.
1. Provide Tenants with Move-Out Instructions
Ideally, the move-out instructions should be mentioned in the lease agreement. You can also send a list of move-out instructions to your tenants immediately after you receive their notice about vacating the property. The instructions can be as under:
Keeping the property as clean as it was when the tenants moved in.
Taking out all their personal belongings from the unit.
Submitting their new address, so that you can send them their security deposit and the receipts.
2. Conduct a Thorough Move-Out Inspection of Your Portsmouth Property
Move-out inspections are essential to know if there is any serious damage to your Portsmouth property and accordingly deduct the necessary amount from the tenants’ security deposit. Conduct a thorough inspection after the tenants move out. You can use the previous inspection reports along with the property pictures, move-in checklist, and other maintenance documentation to compare the state of the place. Ensure you check every item, including the furniture, the lighting, the bathrooms and flooring, and the functionality of the appliances.
3. Return/Deduct The Security Deposit
You have 45 days to return either the full or deducted amounts from the security deposit after the tenants move out. You can hold required amounts from the security deposits if any rent is unpaid, the property is damaged by the tenants, their pets, or their guests, or to retain the tenant’s share of the increase in real estate taxes (if mentioned in the lease).
If you are holding the deposit for damages, you must provide the tenants with an itemized list of the damages, a brief on the necessary repairs, and receipts to prove that the repairs are done. Return the entire or remaining security deposit within 45 days, or your former tenants can sue you in small claims court.
4. Prepare for a Rental Turnover
Preparing the house for renting to new tenants also forms a crucial part of the move-out process. Use the move-in and move-out checklists to analyze the property's condition and map out the necessary repairs to keep the unit in a habitable state.
We suggest asking a professional property manager or a local renovator to plan cost-effective repairs and renovations. They can also help you find and negotiate with the respective contractors, plumbers, roofers, or maintenance specialists to turn over your property sooner.
5. Check The Utility Bill Payments
If your tenants were paying their utility bills, ensure that they inform the utility departments and provide your contact information to avoid lapses in utility bill payments, at least until you find a new tenant. Inform them about the procedure and time frame to do the same.
6. Handle The Abandoned Personal Property in Your Portsmouth Rental
If the tenants forget/leave any of their belongings on the property, it does not mean you can dispose of it right away after they have left. Virginia landlords can dispose of the tenant’s belongings from the property 24 hours after the tenants move out. They can come back to get their stuff any time during this period. However, during this period, you are not liable for what happens to their belongings. After 24 hours, you have the right to get rid of their abandoned items in your Portsmouth rental.
Rental turnovers can be difficult. Property managers can be of great help at such times. They ensure that the property is inspected well, all the damages are documented, and that you hold the necessary amount from the security deposit.
Associate with a trusted company like Doud Realty Services. We have helped clients with their move-out processes for over 20 years and we work towards making our clients’ journeys as landlords easy and successful.
For further assistance, connect with us at Doud Realty Services.