Today we’re talking about our move out process guide for Santa Rosa landlords. One of the most difficult parts of the move out procedure is dealing with security deposits. It’s helpful to explain this process in two time frames: before a tenant moves out and after a tenant moves out.
Before Moving Out
It’s a good idea to require that your tenants give notice in writing, at least 30 days in advance of their move out date. Once you receive this notice, you have to immediately start the move out process. Offer a preliminary evaluation to your tenants. This is an inspection you conduct before the tenant leaves, and it gives you the opportunity to take a look at the property and get an idea of how quickly you’ll be able to turn the property around and rent it out to a new tenant. It also gives the tenant an opportunity to talk to you about what needs to be done in order to get their security deposit back. You can answer any questions about your expectations before they move out. Once that process has been completed, the tenant moves out and you get possession of the property. Coordinate with the tenant when and how you’ll get the keys back and then make sure the property is empty.
After Moving Out
After the tenant moves out, do a complete inspection with photos. This is an important step in documenting the condition of your property. After this inspection, you can determine how much of the security deposit the tenant will get back. It has to be sent to the tenant within 21 days of move out. If you have deducted anything from the deposit, you need to provide an accounting of that, which might include invoices and a copy of your preliminary evaluation, where you told the tenant what would need to be done.
One of the most critical aspects of any move out process guide for Santa Rosa Landlords is how to handle disputes. When you release the security deposit to the tenant with an accounting of what was withheld and the tenant doesn’t like that, they have the right to dispute it. Ask for their concerns in writing. You want to establish a paper trail. After you review the dispute, you can explain again why you kept what you did out of the security deposit. That’s where your detailed inspection report and photos will be helpful. It will be difficult to argue when you have pictures of holes in walls or other damage.
If you have any questions about how to handle the move out process, please contact us at DeDe’s Rentals, and we’d be happy to help you.