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Move out time can blow up, draining precious time and money.  That’s usually because the current tenants tend to put everything off until the last minute.

Do you compound the problem by doing the same thing?

Smooth moves require a plan of action, and that starts when the tenant first moves in.

Keeping up with repairs and noting damage throughout the term of the lease can speed up turnaround time, and make it easier to find a new tenant.

Other cost-saving steps include:

Doing a pre-walk thru with the tenant about a month before the move. Note any items that would be deducted from the security deposit if not fixed. Also note wear and tear items, and set up contractors for the move out date.

Supply tenants with a cleaning checklist so they know what must be accomplished prior to move out. The more detailed the list, the better the results. Include phone numbers for trash hauling companies, donation centers, and preferred vendors. List trash collection times. Also, remind tenants of any applicable house rules, like how to take large items out of a unit.

Ask for the tenant’s forwarding address before they move out.

Set a walk-thru time in advance.

Leave a copy of the Move In/Out Checklist. Fill out the “Out” portion during the walk-thru, with the tenant present.

Take pictures or video of the condition of the property.

Have a list of items to check after every turnaround — checking batteries on the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, checking water pressure and looking for leaks, for example.

Inventory any damage and create an accounting for the security deposit.

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our new Landlord Forms Page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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