Moving In and Moving Out

Moving In

Before You Move In…

  • Consider taking photos of the property before you move in, as proof of the conditions of the property at the time.
  • When you pay the monthly rent, remember to keep proof of your payment. If you pay by cash, ask for receipts.
  • If the landlord makes any promises about the property, have them put it in writing and sign it.
  • Take a look at this helpful infographic.

After You Move In…

  • Save important paperwork regarding the property, including your copy of the lease, rental inspection check list, receipts of deposits and rent payments, and emails or written correspondence with your landlord.
  • Ask your landlord for permission if you need to arrange for any utility hook-ups
  • Notify the landlords/property manager when anything needs to be repaired. It is best to hand-deliver a request in writing, or send it by certified mail. Always remember to keep a copy for yourself.
  • Obey the laws of your neighborhood and apartment complex (in addition to state and federal laws). 
  • Do not engage in, or allow, any illegal activity.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher if one is not already in the property and familiarize yourself with how to operate it.
  • Consider signing a Roommate Agreement with other tenants living the property. Each member should be given a copy. You can avoid problems by establishing agreements and understanding at the beginning.

Things to include in the Roommate Agreement:

  • Decide ways to share expenses for damages to the property such as refrigerator and furniture.
  • Set up agreement as to how utilities should be divided and who is responsible for paying them.
  • Make schedules for cleaning the property and other duties.
  • Establish boundaries for using each other's belongings (clothes, food, room/bed, bicycles/skateboards/surfboards, vehicles, etc.)

Moving Out

Giving Proper Notice

If you are ending a rental agreement, you must give your landlord proper written notice before the moving date. If your rental agreement specifies the number of days of the notice, you must give the landlord written notice as required by the agreement.

Your letter to the landlord/property manager should include the following elements:

  • Your full name
  • Address of the property, including apartment or unit number
  • The date you intend to move
  • Don’t forget to date and sign the notice

Keep a copy of your letter.  It's best to deliver the notice to the landlord or property manager in person, or mail it by certified mail with return receipt requested.

Clean the property, and repair any damage

  1. Clean floors, carpets, walls, appliances, etc.
  2. Repair any damages to property.
  3. Consult your rental condition checklist/form (if you completed one prior to moving in) to ensure the condition of your rental is the same as when you moved in.

Security Deposit

If your unit is in good condition and you have complied with the terms of your rental agreement, your landlord should return your security deposit to you within 21 days of your moving out. For more information about security deposits, check out our "Preparing to Be a Renter" page.