Moving to a new property can be exciting, but it also means that you must move out of your old one. The move out processes can seem daunting, and one of your responsibilities during this time is telling your landlord that you intend to leave. You typically do so by filing a written 30-day notice. This article will provide all the information and steps you need to know to write and send this document.
#1: Choose When to Move Out
Depending on when your next lease begins, you may want to move out prior to the last day of your lease. Keep in mind that sometimes your landlord will require you to send your notice more than 30 days out. As soon as you know you’d like to move somewhere else, check your lease agreement to see what your landlord’s requirements are.
Once you’ve decided which day you would like to move out, figure out what 30 days (or the amount of time your lease specifies) before it would be, and send your notice before that day. You must give at least 30-day notice to landlord to ensure you aren’t charged for another month.
Whatever day it is, make sure that you completely vacate the property and have followed the proper move-out instructions prior to leaving your unit for good.
#2: Check with Your Landlord
Having a conversation with your landlord and reviewing your lease are the best ways to make sure you don’t experience unexpected charges or deductions from your security deposit.
Your landlord can fill you in on what rules and requirements they expect from you as a vacating tenant. For example, you landlord may have specific cleaning, key return, and security deposit instructions. This information should also be written in your lease agreement.
Some landlords charge an early termination fee for tenants who move out more than 30 days before the end of their lease. If you need to leave a substantial amount of time before your lease ends, make sure you bring that up to your landlord or check your rental agreement to see what they require in that situation.
#3: Write your Notice to Vacate
Once you’ve completed the steps above, it’s time to start writing your notice. This notice must be in written form so it can serve as proof that both you and your landlord agree to the move-out date and any additional move-out terms and conditions.
Here’s what your 30 days’ notice letter should include:
- The date you’re writing the notice
- Your name and address
- The name and address of your landlord
- A statement of intent to terminate your current lease and vacate your unit
- The date you plan on moving out
- A statement verifying that you are following the guidelines set up in your lease and are sending this notice 30 days prior to when you’re moving out
- Your new mailing/forwarding address and the date your landlord must return your deposit by state law
- Your contact information
- Your signature at the bottom
You can either email this notice to your landlord or hand it to them directly. Or, even better, do both. Make sure to have your own copy in addition to the copy you give your leasing office and keep it safe just in case you need to refer to it again.
#4: Pay Your Last Month’s Rent
Although this may seem obvious, make sure you remember to pay your last month’s rent. Since most tenants don’t move out on the first of the month, this may not be the same amount as you typically pay for rent. Talk to your landlord or refer to your lease to figure out if your last month’s rent is prorated or lessened based on the actual number of days you’re living in your unit that month.
Some leases aren’t the standard 12-month kind. If you’re renting either month-to-month or week-to-week, your required notice time could be less. Also, if your lease automatically renews at the end of your rental period, you must make sure to send in your notice before your lease auto-renews, or else you could be stuck paying rent an extra month than you planned.
Generally, 30-days is standard for month-to-month tenancies. For week-to-week tenancies, you can usually expect to have to give at least 7 days’ notice, but in some states you may be required to give 25- to 30-days’ notice.
Giving notice to terminate your lease is relatively simple. However, it’s important that you keep this written notice safe and easily accessible just in case something goes awry, and you must prove that you sent it.