Tenants moving out of their rental
How to make that easier for them
This is the time of year when lots of tenants are moving into their new rental home. It also means a lot of tenants are moving out. Moving out can be stressful. There are a lot of things to organise, as well as a few worries for the tenant about getting their money back from the Bond they paid when they moved in. As Property Managers, we want to make this process as stress-free as possible for the tenant, because if we make it easy for them, the end of tenancy will go much smoother. All Property Owners can benefit from this too, by looking at three key things:
1. Give the correct notice and make it useful
If the fixed-term tenancy is for longer than 90 days, the tenancy will automatically become a periodic tenancy when it ends. If the Property Owner or the Tenant doesn’t want it to roll over to a periodic tenancy, they need to give notice to the other party.
This notice must be given between 90 and 21 days before the end date of the fixed term tenancy - and it can be used to make sure the property becomes vacant, or to trigger negotiations for a new fixed-term tenancy. An example of a Notice can be found on the Tenancy Services website.
A big reminder is to always put legal Notices in writing - a text message is not considered notice - and to serve them to the correct Address for Service.
Within the notice, you need to clearly state what day the tenancy is going to end. I know that when I was renting and I would sign up for a 12-month tenancy, months later I had completely forgotten what day was my exact end date. Along with the Notice, it is a great idea to supply them with a Bond Refund form for them to complete.
2. Clear expectations
When giving the notice provide some information on what they need to do leading up to their move out day. The clearer you are, the better the results will be. We supply our tenants with a checklist and an outline of how much money is owing (if any) and a clear description of what needs to happen when it comes to the move out day so that they know where to return keys and what to do.
3. Preparation and appreciation
Do a property inspection a few weeks before the final day of the tenancy. If you see anything that you think may be a problem, highlight it for them so the Tenant can sort it out before they leave and return keys.
If they are a great tenant, write a recommendation letter so they can use it in the future, or offer your number so they can get new property owner/property manager to call as a reference. Keep a hold of their contact information as they may want to rent again in the future.
It is much better to rent to tenants you already know who are good rather than take the risk with someone you don’t know about.
Also, say thank you. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in stories and dramas of the the tenants who aren’t fantastic, and don't leave properties as they should, that we forget to appreciate those tenants who did pay their rent every week and always had the property clean and tidy.
On a final note
It can also be stressful for the Property Owner when a tenant is moving out.
Quite often you are trying to find replacement tenants while the current tenants are still living in the property. There are a few rules around this situation. If the Property Manager or Property Owner wants to show potential tenants through, they must give the current tenant notice and make sure they know you are coming.
The Tenant can’t unreasonably refuse access, but they can set reasonable conditions. For example, they may limit access to certain times of day or days of the week. They still have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their home.
Having a good relationship with your tenant is key to making this as stress-free as possible. If your relationship isn’t the best, perhaps consider looking for new tenants, or having a professional Property Manager do the work for you.
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