woman with moving boxes in the background handing over keys to a rental home.

Tips for Moving out of a Rental Home

Moving into a new home means moving out of your old one. If you’re one of the 42 million Americans who rent their home, here are some tips for leaving it in style.

Check Your Lease

Most fixed-term leases have a penalty if you leave before the lease term ends, so you’ll want to coordinate your move with that term ending if possible. If not, you may be able to negotiate with the landlord to let you out of the lease if you find an acceptable person to rent in your place.

Leases also typically spell out how much notice you need to provide your landlord and other expectations for leaving the property. Following the terms of the lease will help you receive back your security deposit.

Leave the Property As You Found It

Inspect your rental home for any damage you may have caused while you were there. Normal wear and tear are expected but look for damage such as holes you may have made from hanging pictures or stains from spills on the carpet. If you painted the walls, check your lease to see whether you need to return them to their original color.

Repair Pet Damage

Take steps to “de-pet” your home. If your lease includes a pet deposit, you may already have paid for destroyed patches of carpet or getting rid of pet smells. If you paid an extra amount in rent each month instead of a deposit, you might be responsible for paying for all pet damage.

Treat any pet stains from accidents or vomit, with a combination of two cups of lukewarm water, two cups of distilled white vinegar, and four tablespoons of baking soda. When you’re packing up to leave home, run an air purifier, preferably with a window open, to remove pet smells.


Clean everything —  the oven, fridge, dishwasher, and scrub the bathroom. Make sure you also clean the windows, curtains, doors, and door frames. If necessary, deep clean the carpets.

Remove Everything

Don’t leave anything behind. Remove all your items out of the fridge and take all stickers and magnets off the door. Search in all the cupboards, in the lofts, under the stairs, and everywhere for forgotten possessions. If you don’t want or can’t take something with you to your new home, give it away or discard it properly.

Set Up an Inspection

Being present for the final inspection with the landlord is essential for three reasons. The first is that people are less strict if they see you in person. If the carpet condition is borderline between ordinary wear and tear or damage, the landlord will be more likely to call it normal wear and tear if you’re still around.

The second is that it provides an opportunity to negotiate if something fails to meet the landlord’s standards. The third reason is that you can ask the landlord, in person, for your deposit back, rather than just waiting and hoping they’ll mail it to your new home. 

Moving From Your Rental

Make sure you complete all these steps so that you can get your security deposit back. We can help with getting to your new home. Contact us for a quote.