Tenant Vacating Checklist for Landlords

July 24, 2018

So, the lease is up, and your tenant is moving out. Perhaps a new one is moving in immediately after.

Or, your tenants are vacating the apartment and you are about to start a renovation project.

Both scenarios require a lot of work to get your property ready for the next renter and also ensure that the previous tenant has met the requirements for the end of their lease.

Relax, keep calm, and go over your tenant vacating checklist.


A landlord’s to-do checklist for vacating tenants

This checklist isn’t just a walkthrough of the apartment. It also covers the terms of the lease, things that your tenant should provide you before handing over their keys, and a timeline for communication and deliverables.

As always, be sure to cross-reference the tenants’ rights laws in your state and speak with your lawyer before giving any written information to your tenants.

General housekeeping

  • Record property details and tenant information
  • Make sure the tenant has given proper notice
  • Set a written move out date
  • Inspect the property
  • Send an email to inform the tenant when the property will be inspected
  • Confirm the inspection date in writing
  • Make sure to have all the information and photographs from the move-in inspection

The first steps on your tenant vacating checklist are always to gather whatever information you have and make sure you have clear communication with your tenant.

Before they move out it’s technically still their living space and their home to be clear with them when you would like to come in and out of the property and that you will be inspecting the entire premise.

Keeping everything in writing is important!


Apartment kitchen in Dubai

  • Check appliances
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Non-stationary appliances (toaster etc. if applicable)
  • Check plumbing and electric
  • Cabinets, surfaces, and sink
  • Survey flooring damage

Turn on all the appliances to make sure they work and that the tenant hasn’t caused any long-term damage.

If an appliance is broken they should have notified you about it before moving out. Depending on the appliance and the damage a portion of the repair cost can be withheld from their security deposit.

You should go through the inspection with the tenant so that they are aware of the discovered damage and so you can get more information about the cause.

Living area and bedrooms

  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Ceiling (and crown molding if applicable)
  • Doors and door knobs
  • Smoke detector and Carbon monoxide detector
  • Lighting and electricity
  • Windows

Pro Tip: If the apartment is furnished, pull back dressers, bed frames, and anything that rests against the wall to look for marks and dents in the wall.

You will always need to paint the apartment over between tenants but don’t let dents and holes in the wall go unnoticed!


  • Sink
  • Faucet and drainage
  • Shower and showerhead
  • Tile and Flooring
  • General plumbing and pipes
  • Door and door knobs
  • Cabinets
  • Mirrors
  • Windows (if applicable)

Every tenant vacating checklist will cover the above essentials but in a luxury apartment, you will have more to cover and more high-quality furnishings.

If your apartment has a walk-in closet this is a great attractive feature for the next tenant.

Don’t overlook closet space as a place where the previous tenant could have caused damage! Missing hanging racks and dents in the floor don’t scream luxury and you will have to spend money to clean things up.


Unique features and amenities

Once the essentials are covered the last step is to customize the tenant vacating checklist to the specific needs of your property.

Access to gyms, private building areas, building WIFI, cleaning services may come to an end at the final date of the lease.

Also, cross-check that the tenant no longer has access to these amenities and that the staff and personnel involved in these services are aware of the tenant’s departure from the building.

If you have specific utilities and apartment features the tenant should be provided with written instructions on how to disconnect, unsubscribe and turn these systems off.

Some Blueground apartments may have special features like a Nespresso machine, hairdryer, or iron. These are some home comforts that we make sure are still available to the next tenant who will occupy the property.


Forwarding address

A large grey metal block of mailboxes

When a tenant is moving out before you go through your tenant vacating checklist make sure to get a forwarding address especially if you are dealing with someone who is leaving on bad terms or has been difficult over the terms of the lease.

You may need to follow up with them about the condition of the apartment or any other issues written notice the way to go about it.

To ensure you will be able to reach them to let them know that they will be receiving their security deposit in the mail at their new location.


Security deposit

Typically, the security deposit is equal to one or two month’s rent and is given to the landlord at the start of the lease.

You have the right to use this deposit to clean and repair the rental unit and also withhold this deposit in the event that the tenant does not complete their rent payment.

If the apartment is in the condition that the tenant found it in when they moved in, they are entitled to receive this money back in its total amount.


Collect keys

The most important piece of advice – Don’t forget to collect the keys!

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