Moving out of a rental apartment

Whether you are looking for a nicer place or your lease is up, moving out from a rental can be both exciting and frustrating. Relocating to a bigger place or to your own apartment can be a rewarding experience. However, there are a number of reasons why you should organize properly your move-out. With so many things going on, it’s easy to overlook some of the most important steps.

Hopefully, the following considerations will guide you through the moving out process and help you end the tenancy on good terms with your landlord. Take advantage of our suggestions to protect yourself and have a smooth moving process.

Renters’ obligations when moving out

Review your lease once again and make sure you know the terms and conditions. Know your responsibilities and general information regarding the notice period, security deposit recovery, and conditions of the apartment when moving out. Failing to meet the terms of the lease may lead to some financial penalties.

In most cases, those penalties include one or two months’ rent, which can be a major expense if added to other moving costs. If you end the lease on bad terms with your landlord’s credit rating, references and security deposit may be at stake.

Breaking a tenancy lease may cause some serious consequences. We all know that life is unpredictable and some special circumstances beyond our control can change our plans completely. Depending on your attitude and your landlord’s mindset he may or may not be sympathetic.

Just make sure to inform him about your situation as soon as possible. If you have a good relationship with your landlord, chances are that he may understand your position. Since you are moving out early do your best to find a new tenant. Otherwise, you may have the responsibility to pay for the period the apartment remains vacant.

person holding money
Do everything you can to get your security deposit back

Give your landlord reasonable notice before moving out. A minimum period of 30 days of notice is considered a standard procedure. Allow your landlord and the management company enough time to find a new tenant and prepare the property before his arrival. On the other hand, if your landlord has violated the terms of the lease you may have the legal right to move out without advance notice prior to the lease end.

Don’t leave anything behind. Pack up all of your personal items before leaving your current living space. Take out all the items you don’t want to move to your new place and leave it clutter-free. Remember, it’s not your landlord’s responsibility to dispose of your stuff.

How to get a security deposit back when moving out

Since the laws and regulations usually vary by location, make sure you understand your rights. When facing an imminent move, everyone’s concerned about getting the security deposit back. Assuming that you’ve met all terms of the lease, you will be entitled to get the entire security deposit back. In a few words, unless you’ve caused extensive and irreparable damage to the property, you may be able to get the most of your deposit back.


Conduct a thorough inspection of an entire place. While you are not responsible for the preexisting issues, make sure you keep records of damaged things under your lease. It’s always a good idea to document everything immediately after you move in just to have evidence in case of any issue. Also, notify your landlord about any damage or appliance malfunction, if possible, in writing.

A man with a blue tie sitting in front of a cup of coffee and a moving out checklist
Make your own checklist of all repair works and cleaning tasks performed prior to moving out

Take care of your place

Take care of the rental as if you were the owner. The ideal would be to restore the apartment to its shape from the period when you moved in.

As it turns out, some types of changes are ”normal” and acceptable – cracks in the wall, faded paint,… But, on the other hand, landlords are allowed to charge you for cleaning and repairing services necessary to fix the damage that you personally have caused to the property. If you want to avoid potential security deposit deductions, know exactly your responsibilities when moving out.

Clean, clean, and clean. Leave your apartment sparkling clean before moving out. Pay attention to the high foot traffic areas, kitchen appliances, bathrooms, wooden floors, and entryways. Have each family member engage in the cleaning process in order to make it as smooth as possible.

Hire reliable movers when moving out of your rental apartment

Moving out is in part stressful because some damage can be inflicted to the walls, floors, or items on the last day of your stay. This can lead to a reduction in your security deposit, or not getting a deposit at all. Since neither you nor your landlord would like this to happen, it is vital to hire professional NYC movers for your relocation. They know how to lift and carry heavy items, have all the necessary equipment, and have plenty of experience. Additionally, you will have moving insurance, so in case something gets damaged, you can get compensation.

Protect your rental when moving out

There are some useful tips in which you can protect your rental property from getting damaged when moving out.

Place cardboard on the floor – You can use old sheets as well. This will help protect your home from dirt, dust, and water in case you are moving out in bad weather. Place the cardboard in front of the front doors first, and cover the path that movers will use. This will protect your floors from any dents as well.

Measure the doorway and the furniture – Sometimes, the furniture that you have, or other bulky items such as a piano, for example, simply cannot get through the doors. If you are not aware of this fact, you risk damaging the doors and the items as well. Before you start moving the items, we highly recommend that you measure the width of the doors and of them, so that you can avoid any potential damage.

Clear the pathway – We recommend that you clear the pathway on which moving boxes will be carried on so that you avoid any damage. Remove all the boxes, toys, plant pots, or anything that may get in the way of someone carrying a heavy load.

Moving out of a rental – final steps

Cleaning supplies, green bucket and blue mop
Deep clean your rental before moving out

Having completed all repair works and cleaning tasks you are probably ready to hand in the keys before moving out. Also, this is when you should meet with your landlord and walk through and assess the apartment together. While house cleaning and maintenance works are not the most exciting tasks on your moving checklist, knowing that you have fulfilled your duties and obligations is very rewarding. While inspecting the apartment make sure to compare your checklists.

Hopefully, your landlord will appreciate your efforts to keep the apartment tidy and prepare it for the next tenants.

Normally you can expect to get your security deposit back up to 2-3 weeks after moving out. If some security deposit deductions were made, your landlord should provide you with a statement and explanation in writing. If for some reason, you think that the charges are unfair, you can go ahead and take your landlord to small claims court in order to get the entire amount back.

In addition to the tenant’s responsibilities, you will have to organize the entire move to your new apartment. Whether you are moving to another state or just a couple of blocks away, professional movers’ help is always valuable.

While you are handling the dispute with your landlord, dependable long distance movers NYC can take care of each stage of the move effortlessly. Finding a new apartment and a reputable moving company also takes time and energy, so start requesting moving quotes well in advance. Only professional movers can use their expertise and experience to make the moving process easier for you and your family.