If you're currently renting a house or apartment and you decide to move into a Heers Management property in Phoenix or Las Vegas, you will need to give your landlord proper notice. To make this process easier for you, we've outlined all the important details of how to tell your landlord you’re moving out.
Step 1: Understand Your Lease and Renter Obligations
No matter what kind of lease you have, you’ll need to write a letter to your landlord before you can vacate the rental property. If you fail to do this and don’t provide at least 30 days’ notice, then most rental agreements will allow the landlord to continue charging you rent for some period.
While this rule is intended to protect a landlord from having to unexpectedly leave a property empty, it can create problems for renters when circumstances change suddenly. To figure out how your rental agreement might affect your move, determine what kind of lease you have.
This lease is the easiest kind for a tenant to vacate without any extra fees or expenses. You may usually depart from the leased property with 30 days’ written notice – without having to wait for the property owner to inspect or conduct any other drawn-out process.
A fixed-term lease gives the renter a right to remain at a property for a certain period of time as long as he or she pays rent and abides by all other agreements. If you leave a fixed-term lease without proper notice, you may lose your deposit and potentially be subject to other penalties.
No matter what kind of lease you have, you will find everything you need to know about the timing of your notice in the termination clause. The termination clause includes all the rules that both the tenant and the landlord need to follow as the property is vacated.
Step 2: Writing a Letter from Tenant to Landlord for 30-Day Notice
Once you understand how much notice you need to provide, you can write a letter expressing your intent to vacate. Your lease may have a delivery clause that tells you the specific way your letter must be delivered to your landlord. Otherwise, it is dictated by state laws.
In general, intent to vacate must be delivered in person to the landlord. Some states allow you to use registered or first-class mail. If you are not delivering the message in person, you should always use a delivery method that creates a written record of the date of delivery.
That could help you in court in the event there is a dispute about the termination of your lease.
What does your letter need to include?
Make sure you cover these points:
- Address the letter to your landlord at the official address stipulated on the lease;
- Date your letter and be sure to deliver it as close as possible to the letter’s date;
- State the purpose of your letter, including the intended date that you will vacate;
- Request that any refundable deposit, such as a security deposit, be returned to you;
- Provide your new address so that deposits may be returned after you relocate.
Remember, your letter is not an official document unless you add your signature!
Once you have completed your letter, be sure to read it twice to catch any mistakes. You may also wish to double-check to ensure you have followed the rules of your lease agreement. In many cases, renters vacate hastily following a dispute with the landlord. Failing to take proper actions in this case will only complicate matters and could subject you to more worries later.
Once you’re satisfied with your letter, be sure to copy it and keep the copy in a safe place.
If you feel that you need to take extra precautions against an unfriendly landlord, you may wish to have your letter notarized. This means that a trusted member of the community, the notary, will make an official record of having seen your letter and its contents on a given date.
Step 3: Delivering Your Letter
The best time to deliver your letter depends in part on your lease agreement:
Since this kind of lease almost always requires 30 days’ notice, you can deliver your letter with your final month’s rent. This helps clear up any confusion, as you will know the letter has been received no later than the date the rent check clears.
On a fixed-term lease, you should give notice as soon as you reasonably can. Although you may be entitled to give notice at any time, failing to do so promptly can cause problems. If you pay rent on the first of the month, for example, and do not give notice until the 15th, you will be required to pay rent through the 15th of the following month, even if you vacate before then.
Remember: Your notice does not become valid until it is delivered to the landlord – and it must be done in accordance with all state rules. If you have any doubt your notice will be received and read promptly, be sure to take extra precautions.
Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants Vacating Rental Properties
“What if only one tenant is vacating from a property with multiple tenants?”
In this situation, the party who is vacating should still give proper notice to the landlord. There may be an abbreviated inspection of some part of the property – for example, that tenant’s bedroom – to verify that his or her security deposit can be returned.
“Can I give notice early – 60 or 90 days before my departure?”
Yes, you can always choose to give notice early, but you should never give notice late. When you give notice early, you make the process much more convenient for your landlord, which can accelerate things. To prevent confusion, be sure the date you plan to vacate is very clearly stated.
“If I’m served notice to vacate within 60 days, do I still have to pay rent if I leave in 30?”
You should consult with an attorney for information that is accurate in your situation. In general, however, a notice to vacate is intended to be followed “within” a certain timeframe, rather than “on” the last day of the timeframe. If you vacate early, you may not need to pay further rent.
“Can I vacate my lease if I do not have money to pay the last month’s rent?”
Your lease will contain stipulations about any situations like this. Generally, if you are short only one month of rent, you can amicably make arrangements to pay in the future.
If you’re looking for a great apartment in Las Vegas, Nevada or Phoenix, Arizona, please contact Heers Management. We have convenient, beautiful and affordable apartment complexes in both cities and would be happy to show them to you.