With the arrival of summer comes the departure of many expats whose U.S. job assignments are ending. After living here for the past few years, they hand off their work tasks, sell their trampolines and lawnmowers, and move out of their rental houses.
If you are one of the folks preparing to end your housing lease, here are four key tasks to accomplish, according to the experts at Wetzel Realty:
1. Give written notification of your end date
Now is a great time to review your lease contract and other paperwork to find out when your written notification is due and what else is expected of you at the end of the lease.
Your lease contract lists an end date, but you still need to give your landlord or property manager written notification of your plans to end your lease, 30 to 60 days ahead of time. Your notice should match the end date on your lease — even if you plan to move out a couple of days (or more) early.
An email is sufficient for this written notification, but be sure to send it early enough to avoid having the lease continue on a month-to-month basis or being held responsible for another month’s lease fees.
After you give your notice, be prepared for your rental house or apartment to be shown to prospective new tenants, with 24-hour notice from your landlord/property manager.
2. Prepare the house for your departure
Consult your lease paperwork for what you need to do before leaving. If you took photos at the beginning of your lease, look at them again so you can leave the house in a similar condition.
In general, small nail holes in the walls can be left, but fill any large holes from anchors or wall mounts. Find out if you need to have the carpets professionally cleaned, and repair or replace anything that broke in the house while you lived there. Ask your landlord about any touch-up painting needed and general cleaning expectations. Prepare to leave all of the house keys, garage door openers, and clubhouse/pool fobs you received.
Of course, your goal is to get back your full security deposit, so it is in your best interest to meet your landlord’s requirements!
3. Set cancellation dates
You are responsible for contacting all utility providers, trash pick-up, pest control, and any other house-related services you have used while occupying the house. Inform them of your departure date, but keep the utilities in your name and the yard maintained until your end date, even if you are moving out early.
Remember to cancel your renters’ insurance, too.
4. Schedule an end walk with your landlord
Schedule the end walk for after the house is completely empty and clean, and be ready at that time to hand over the keys and say goodbye to your home-away-from-home. If you have done your part to prepare the house, the end walk should be a quick and easy event!
Specific questions about the ending of your lease are best directed to your landlord or property manager, who can give you the most accurate answers for your particular situation. Wetzel Realty associates would be happy to assist you with general leasing or realty questions at [email protected]