How to move out of a rental home: A quick checklist when leaving a rental property

Need to move out of your rental home quickly? Here’s how to do it.

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A sense of joy and fulfillment comes with moving to a new place you can call home. However, moving out of a rental home can be stressful if you didn’t prepare enough. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. That’s why you have this moving out of a rental checklist to guide you from start to finish. 

Go over the steps to make your move as easy as possible - from packing things in your rental property to the dreaded move out cleaning. Here are some of our favorite tips that you can add to your moving out checklist for renters.

What to do before moving out of a rental property

What to do before leaving a rental property

If you are the one giving notice, you have a lot more time on your hands. However, if you weren't that lucky, you don't have as much time on your hands. So, here's what you need to do before leaving a rental property:

  • Decide how you're going to move early on.  Do you need to hire someone with a truck or a man with a van? Or will it just take a couple of trips in your car?  Make it easier on yourself by getting a mover to help.

  • Confirm with your real estate agent the exact date you are moving out and agree on when you want to have the final inspection.

  • Stock up on free cardboard boxes from Bunnings or supermarkets.

  • Declutter as much as you can before packing.

  • Start packing up things you don't use often and clean cupboards as you empty them.

  • If you can, have your mail forwarded to your new address at least four weeks before your move.

  • Arrange for the disconnection and reconnection of your utilities. Make sure disconnection takes place after the final inspection. You don't want to be left with any bills that you didn't know about!

Need help packing your items? Find out how much packing services cost to have a clear idea of your expenses when moving out of a rental home.

What to do after you move out of your rental home

Cleaning before moving out of a rental property

Before you hand back the keys to the rental property owner, make sure you've ticked off the following tasks.

Clean thoroughly

Move out cleaning is important so that you can get your entire bond back. Think of this as a spring cleaning before leaving for a new home. Most rental agreements would require you to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in, except for fair wear and tear.

Your landlord might give you a tenant’s responsibilities list, which details what needs to be done. And if you're lucky, they might want to do some renovations after you leave so they might not be so picky about the state it's left it.

Here's a bit of a checklist to help you out:

  • Sweeping

  • Mopping

  • Vacuuming

  • Oven cleaning

  • Grout cleaning

  • All dust and spiderwebs removed

  • Cleaning windowsills

  • Blinds and curtains should be dust and mark free

  • Carpets steam cleaned

  • Grass mowed

  • Balconies washed down

  • Garden plants maintained

You can get move out cleaning experts to help as you pack and move out of your rental property. Find out how much is the average price for a move out cleaning to add this to your moving expenses. 

Do one final check

After the move, check if the property is empty, including easily overlooked spots like on top of built-in cupboards or under the house. Leaving a roll of toilet paper as a courtesy for the next tenant is a nice touch. However, don't leave half-used cleaning supplies or spare kitchenware, even if you think it might be useful to someone; the landlord might charge you to have them removed.

Extra rental moving tips to get all your bond back

Inspecting rental home before moving out

Be present

It's important that you try to be there for the final inspection, especially because it's often harder for someone to be critical to your face. Check that you have all keys to be returned including window and garage keys, as well as the spare key your mum had. 

Document everything. Take lots of photos of the state you leave the property in so you can compare them if necessary with photos you took when you moved in (hopefully, you remembered to do that!)

Don't underestimate the power of scents

For example, during your move out cleaning, freshen all drains by adding tablespoons of bicarb soda, a good splash of vinegar, and several liters of boiled water from your kettle. Everything will seem much more pleasant if there is no nasty smell emanating from the drains.

Chucking orange peels into the oven for half an hour on a low setting can also make the property smell extra nice during the final inspections (just don't forget to remove them before the agent inspects the oven).

Find out if you need to have the carpets steam-cleaned

Rental property owners expect tenants to leave their spaces in the same condition as they moved in. Before going for the additional expenses of having the carpets cleaned, make sure to check with your state when it comes to your legal obligations. If you are required to steam clean a carpet, make sure you keep receipts. If you have pets, also check your lease in case you signed a clause agreeing to fumigation.

Be aware of the laws for renters in your state

Know your rights, responsibilities, and what you can do if there's a dispute over the bond. Don't assume you have to wait for months for your landlord to sign off on your bond release form.

Get all prepped for your move with tips from our moving guide and checklist.

Moving out of a rental property opens a new chapter in your life. Make it more memorable and less stressful by following the tips above. If you need the extra hand to cover all the bases when moving out of your rental home, Airtasker has experts who can help you with move out cleaning, packing, and other tasks during your move.

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FAQs on moving out of a rental home

Landlords may charge you or deduct a certain amount from your security deposit for the following:

  • Broken windows, doors, or locks

  • Damaged blinds or screens

  • Excessive wall holes

  • Burn marks, holes, or permanent damage on carpets

  • Broken appliances, fixtures, or furniture due to tenant’s misuse

Landlords or agents can only expect tenants to leave the property in the condition it was in when the tenancy began. In certain cases, you may request to have an initial inspection of the property before moving in so you can note its condition and use it as reference when it’s time to move out. This helps you determine how much cleaning is needed for the property and avoid getting charges or deductions from your deposit.  

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