Now, before your lease comes to an end, certain tough decisions have to be made. One thing to note is that moving can be pretty expensive. So in the few months leading to the end of your lease, you’ll need to find yourself a new house, which as you may be aware, may not be as easy as it sounds. You always have the option of renewing your lease and sticking around but not when you have got other plans, duty calls, or it’s time to move into your own home. Before you get all your hopes up, here’s a spoiler alert… your landlord or leasing agent is already looking for a new tenant – or perhaps they’ve already found one. So time is of the essence here and it means that you’ll need to re-evaluate your options in good time. Before or on the day the lease comes to an end, both the tenant and the landlord need to help each other in ensuring that things go smoothly. Here’s what you should do when or preferably before your lease expires.
1. Notify Your Landlord of Your Intentions
Before your lease expires, it’s very important to let the landlord know of your intentions. Moving from house to house is a tough decision and one that will eat into your finances. In addition to this, it may also be that you’ve grown fond of your surroundings, made lasting relationships, and are not ready to move just yet. Now, if this is the case, you’ll need to write your landlord requesting them to extend the lease. You may also be a great tenant whose landlord doesn’t want to move, in which case they also need to do the same. For individuals who are not quite ready to settle down, they have the option of considering short leases that are either six or twelve months. This way, they are not tied down by lease timelines. Whatever the case, it’s very important to let your landlord know of your next move in good timing once or before your lease expires.
2. Clean Up the Place
It can be a bit tempting to want to pack your belongings at the end of the lease and just leave without cleaning the house behind you. But it’s very important to ensure that you leave the property clean and tidy, preferably inside and outside. This will ensure that you get your deposit back and that the other tenant after you, finds the place habitable. Now, while it may be a lot to ask on your part, especially considering the overwhelming task of moving, you have the option of hiring professional cleaners to do the job for you. This will allow you more time to take care of other important obligations such as canceling major services with your utility companies or updating your address details. According to the guys at Royal Cleaning, end of tenancy cleaning has been just as important as the move itself. While you may be tempted to clean the property you’re vacating by yourself, you may not do a good job at it and chances are that you may not be getting your deposit money. With a professional cleaner to help, on the other hand, you improve the chances of getting your deposit money back in full.
3. Take Inventory
In the few months or weeks leading to the end of your lease, it’s very important to gather all your tenancy documents in one place. This means having all your rent records, inspection reports, tenancy agreement, and any document that can help solve landlord-tenant disputes. To avoid the he-said-she-said situation, take an inventory of all the damages before and after your tenancy. It would be wise to document all these in pictures. Inspection reports are important because they help to document a record of all the physical defects from the day you moved into the house until the end of your tenancy. This is why you need to consider scheduling regular inspections after moving into a new house and before moving out. Having such documents may also come in handy to help you when you’re having trouble getting your security deposit back.
4. Handing Over the Keys to the Landlord
If you’re moving out at the end of your lease, it’s imperative to return all the apartment keys (and copies) to the landlord or letting agency. This should include community passes and badges, mailroom keys, and passcode. One thing to note is that you may be charged a certain fee for the days you keep the apartment keys with you past the due date. It’s also a legal risk to retain the keys to your old apartment after moving out.
The Landlord’s Obligations
On the due date or before the expiry of the tenancy, the tenant and the landlord need to schedule a final inspection. This is usually done before refunding the tenant their security deposit. With this in mind, here are things you should expect from your landlord:
- Your landlord should notify you of any pending balances.
- The landlord needs to notify you of the day they plan to do the final inspection.
- At the end of the tenancy, usually at midnight, the landlord shouldn’t demand the tenants to leave in the middle of the night. They must find a convenient time that suits them.
After the final inspection and after ensuring that the house is clean and in good condition, the landlord is obligated to refund the security deposit to the tenant.
Finally, the landlord must follow the right procedure when dealing with items left behind by tenants. In addition to this, there needs to be ample time between tenancies to allow for maintenance procedures if need be.
The day the tenancy agreement expires marks a new chapter in the life of the tenant. But before leaving, it’s very important to ensure that you’ve left a forwarding address just in case. This will ensure that your mails, bills, and the security deposit check finds you in good time. But hey, if you are not for the idea of moving out, you shouldn’t, unless you were a terrible tenant and the landlord wants you out.
You have the option of re-signing your tenancy agreement. Nonetheless, you’ll need to contact your landlord three months before the expiration date. It will cost the landlord to lose a tenant because now they have to incur additional repair costs and part with the security deposit. Good tenants are the joy of landlords!