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Moving in and out can both be arduous tasks. Sometimes personal reasons push you to make a move and other times you’re motivated by bad living conditions. In either scenario, you can’t simply pack up and walk away.
There is a proper process that needs to be followed, and the first usually involves notifying the landlord that you’re leaving. You may call it the beginning of the end.
Let’s take a look at ways to do this.
This is a formal written notice informing the landlord that you intend to leave the property. When do you notify the landlord is a debatable question.
Generally, there are two practices when sending a notice to vacate property:
The best advice is to follow the timeframe written in the lease about it. What you agreed to during the signing of the lease must be followed until it officially expires at the end of the lease term.
Finding a new tenant is both exhaustive and expensive. Therefore, the landlord needs to know as early as possible if you don’t intend to renew your lease so he or she can start the process of finding a new tenant.
Your move may bring a financial setback to the landlord, especially if there’s no immediate demand for your apartment. Landlords depend on rent funds to pay their bills. So, out of courtesy, it would be great to notify the landlord so he or she can manage expenses accordingly and meanwhile find a new tenant.
Your notice letter should include the following:
This is the most important piece of information that goes on the notification letter. In order to be in compliance with the lease terms, ensure the date is within the timeframe specified in the lease, whether it’s 30-days, 60-days, or something else.
Verify that you have the landlord’s current mailing address and include it on the notice. You can often find it on your lease or on other move-in documentation.
You have to mention the date you plan to leave the property, which may or may not correspond to the day your lease expires.
Don’t take for granted that the landlord knows which unit you occupy and neglect to include your current address and apartment number. Landlords often have multiple apartments and it might become confusing for them otherwise.
Here’s a template for drafting your own notice to vacate. Don’t forget to personalize it with your personal information:
Please accept this letter as notice that I plan to move out when my lease expires on (date). I’m providing this notice in accordance with notification terms outlined in my lease agreement dated (date).
I will be leaving because (mention your reason for not renewing–including this is optional but good to include). I would like to schedule the final inspection of the apartment on (date).
Please let me know when I can expect the refund of my security deposit and if any portion of the deposit will be reduced due to apartment repairs.
Please direct any future correspondence to: (new address).
It’s always best to send the notice to vacate in accordance with the terms outlined in the lease. It helps avoid confusion in the end.