Thursday 11 August 2016

Landlords: How to move-out tenants

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the process I undertake when moving in new tenants. A few people told me they had found this useful, but one asked what I do at the other end of the tenancy - when moving tenants out.

I’ll admit to this not being my favourite part of being a landlord / letting agent. Not only because I nearly always part with my tenants on good terms so I genuinely feel a sadness to see them go, but there’s also the sometimes thorny issue of the return of their security deposit to wade through.

Just like the move-in, I use a checklist to ensure nothing gets forgotten. This includes taking final meter readings and a forwarding address for the tenants, so I can contact the utility providers who will send the outgoing tenants their final bills.

It’s then time to receive back the keys and check over the condition of the property. This is when it becomes so important to have a thorough inventory (with photos) in place at the start of the tenancy. My memory simply isn’t good enough to remember every imperfection that existed (sometimes years before)! It also ensures the process is fair to the tenants; providing proof of any discrepancies and ensuring that they aren’t made responsible for something that wasn’t due to them.

My top tip would be to visit the property two-weeks before the move-out date to undertake a ‘pre-check’ with the tenants. This basically means inspecting the property and telling the tenants anything that might be an issue in regards to the full return of their security deposit.

Hopefully, they’ll then remedy any issues by the move-out appointment; which is good for me being able to re-let it promptly without having to arrange repairs and it’s good for the tenants as they won’t have monies deducted from their security deposit.

If there are any issues that remain when the tenants move-out (subject to fair wear and tear) this can then be pointed out to them and discussed in regards to the best way of resolving the issue. This is why I recommend tenants are present when checking the property; so any issues can be raised immediately and the course of action mutually agreed.

This process (including the ‘pre-check’) should ensure the tenants are aware of their responsibilities, are able to return the property in the required condition to receive most, if not all, of their security deposit back and will minimise any void periods caused by having to put things right.

In fact, the last two move-outs I undertook led to no void period in between lets i.e. no loss of rent to the landlord. And I don’t charge any re-let fees!

If you’re a landlord with properties in Chichester and like the sound of my hands-on approach to property management, please get in touch to see if I can help you.

chichester observer property headline

(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on 11th August 2016)
Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings.


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP

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