Property Management Blog

What Landlords Should Know About Move-Out Letters

System - Monday, February 27, 2023

move out letter

As a landlord, the end of a lease period can be particularly stressful. You're having to start the marketing process all over while drawing up several documents. One such document is a move-out letter. 

But what do you need to know about move-out letters? What should they include, when are they required, and how exactly do you need to send one? We at KRS Property Management will discuss all those questions in this blog post!

Importance of a Move-Out Letter

A move-out letter records the end of a lease for both the tenant and the landlord. It outlines any obligations on the part of the tenant before they vacate, such as cleaning the rental or carrying out repairs, and helps protect both parties from potential disputes.

In addition to proving that the tenancy has ended, the move-out letter can help protect a landlord's legal rights. For example, it can be used in court as evidence that the tenant was given proper notice of their obligations and had ample time to comply with any requirements before leaving. Therefore, all landlords must use a move-out letter when ending a lease or rental agreement.

Benefits of a Move-Out Letter

The move-out letter helps avoid misunderstandings and potential conflicts between the tenant and landlord. It also helps with accurately tracking when a tenant moved out, what condition they left the unit in, and any outstanding fees or deposits. 

blue American postal service mailbox outside of a store

Here are some of the main benefits of the move-out letter:


A move-out letter provides clear and concise information regarding the tenant's security deposit. It informs the landlord or property manager of when the tenant will leave and when the security deposit can be expected to be returned.


In a move-out letter, the tenant agrees to vacate the premises by the agreed-upon date as well as any other terms negotiated between the two parties. This helps to protect both sides from potential disputes or misunderstandings if one side fails to meet its obligations. 


A move-out letter allows tenants to ensure that any necessary repairs and maintenance have been completed before moving out. Furthermore, it outlines the required tasks that must be completed by each party for the transition to take place smoothly like submitting an itemized list of damages or arranging a final inspection. This helps ensure the unit is in good condition for the next tenant.

Clear Obligations

The move-out letter serves as an important document during the tenancy termination process. It provides the tenant and landlord with clear expectations of who is responsible for what when ending the lease agreement. This ensures all parties understand and can take responsibility for their respective roles, reducing disputes over service provision or payment.

two people shaking hands across a document on a clipboard

Furthermore, it serves as a record should any disagreements arise after the tenant has vacated the property. All these benefits make the move-out letter an invaluable tool for landlords and tenants.

Tips for Writing Move-Out Letters

Writing the move-out letter is not difficult, but a few tips can help make the process easier:

  • Always mention the date of delivery and contact information for both parties involved
  • State in clear terms the date the tenant must move out of the rental property by, as well as any rent changes that apply to this situation
  • Provide important dates related to the move-out, such as the final property inspection, when keys need to be returned, and when security deposits are expected to be refunded
  • Include instructions for leaving the keys with the landlord or a trusted person and details about the use of the security deposit
  • Close the letter with a polite sign-off and thank the tenant for abiding by the terms listed in the agreement and letter
  • Always provide a copy for both yourself and the tenant

When to Send the Move-Out Letter

Timing is important; sending a move-out letter too late can cause legal issues while sending it too early could put the tenant at ease and frustrate the landlord. In most states, landlords must send a move-out letter 30 days before the expected vacancy date.

a couple of tenants packing up belongings and putting them in moving boxes

However, you should understand the legalities that apply to your area before sending the letter. Different states and even municipalities have other laws governing move-out notices. Ensure you know those laws so that you don't risk violating any regulations or running into unnecessary complications.

Move-Out Letter Checklist

When moving out of a property, it's essential to make sure that the tenant leaves the premises in the same condition as when they moved in. To ensure that everything is taken care of, here's a move-out letter checklist for tenants to follow:

  • Return all keys and access cards to the landlord or property manager
  • Clean the property thoroughly, including all surfaces, such as countertops, appliances, floors, and walls
  • Remove all personal items, furniture, electronics, and belongings from the premises
  • Make sure that the property's exterior is in good condition with no signs of damage
  • Check for any loose screws, nails, or other hardware that needs replacing
  • Check all plumbing fixtures, such as sinks and toilets, are in good working condition
  • Ensure that all windows and doors are securely shut and locked

In a Nutshell

Move-out letters are essential to terminating a lease agreement between a tenant and their landlord. They can help both parties take responsibility for their respective roles, reducing disputes over service provision or payment. 

Writing a proper move-out letter requires understanding your area's laws and following the tips outlined above can help to ensure that everything goes smoothly. If you need assistance writing this letter or managing your rental property, consider hiring a property management company like KRS Property Management. Contact us today to learn about our services!