What to do when your tenant says they’re moving out

Many tenancy agreements come to an end over the summer. Whether your tenants have given you notice they aren’t renewing their lease, or they’ve submitted a notice to vacate part-way through their tenancy, there are steps you should take to make sure the process is as smooth as possible. This blog outlines what you should do when your tenants say they’re moving out to reduce administrative headaches and the risk of long vacancies between tenancies.

Receive the notice to vacate in writing

Your property manager should ensure that your tenant’s notice to vacate is received in writing, either via email, post or hand-delivered in person.

Call the tenant to confirm the vacate date and end-of-lease requirements

If you have a property manager, they can talk with your tenant to confirm their vacate date and thank them for taking good care of your property (assuming they have, of course). When your property manager makes this call, they should also confirm the balance of any rent owing and share a few tips on making the process of moving out and getting their bond back as smooth as possible.

Communicate with your tenant in writing too

Once you or your property manager have spoken with your tenant to confirm their vacate date and end-of-lease requirements, put these steps in writing and send them to the tenant. You should include confirmation of the vacate date, the balance of rent owing and when the final inspection will occur. If you have a vacate checklist, make sure you share this too. Sending the confirmation email is also a good time to send a repairs and maintenance form and a copy of the original entry condition report.

Advertise your property

Once you have your tenant’s vacate notice, you should get your property ready to advertise as soon as possible. If you’re able to advertise your property four to six weeks in advance of your current tenant vacating, this will decrease the risk of your property being vacated too long between tenancies. At this stage, you or your property manager should also agree on viewing times with the current tenant. Giving them plenty of notice will allow the tenant to plan around them when they’re busy getting organised to move.

Complete the exit report and finalise the bond refund

Once the tenant has returned their keys, the exit report can be completed. Key things to check during the exit inspection include the condition of walls, the carpet, light fixtures, exhaust fans, and any outdoor areas such as balconies, lawns and gardens. Once you’ve completed the exit report, let the tenant know if they need to do any extra cleaning or odd jobs to get their full bond refunded. Otherwise, if everything is in good shape, you can refund their bond and the place will be ready for the next tenants.

Keeping communication open and making sure the process of vacating your property is clear for your tenants helps everything run smoothly. Whether it’s a lease break or your tenants aren’t renewing their lease, getting clear on the vacate process using the steps above as a guide will help everything run smoothly and reduce your risk of vacancy between tenancies.

This blog is general in nature and is not financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.