Moving In & Out

Start and end your tenancy the right way.

Moving In

  • Make sure you complete a walk-through form. Share this completed, signed form with your landlord, and have him or her sign it. This shows that you both acknowledge the pre-existing damage in the house, setting a standard for the condition of the home so that you get your security deposit back when you move out.
    • Take photos and keep records of things that need repair and when the repairs get made.
  • You should also complete a Fire Safety Checklist. Be sure to stop by ONL if you do not have the adequate number of smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire escape ladders.
  • Be sure to set up your utilities. Ask your landlord which companies services your property, and get them set up in a roommate’s name.
  • Register to vote! 
  • Check that your mail is being forwarded to your new address (you can set this up online through the USPS website).

Moving Out

  • Know when your lease ends and/or the date you must renew it.
    • Know how much notice you need to give your landlord before you move out. You must give notice based on the date your rent is due (ex. June 1st vs. June 15th).
    • Put your notice in writing. Make sure your notice includes the following:
      • Current date
      • Your name
      • Your current address
      • Your current phone number
      • Date you intend to move-out
      • Date you will return keys
  • Request a walk-through of your apartment to see what needs to be fixed/cleaned.
    • If your landlord is unable to do a walk-through, request (in writing) a list of of what is required of you before you move out.
    • Conduct your own walk-through of the property, taking pictures of everything. 
  • Return your keys in person.
    • If you are unable to return keys in person, send them certified mail, return receipt requested and insure it. A landlord can continue to charge you until your keys are returned and can charge you for a lock change.
  • Ask the landlord to sign a statement, acknowledging the return of your keys.

Return of your Security Deposit

  • Ask your landlord for a specific date for when you can expect your security deposit. You should have determined any stipulations regarding the security deposit when you signed the lease, so check your lease for details.
  • Make sure you know how the deposit will be returned. Clarify if one roommate will get the security deposit or if it will be divided amongst all tenants.
  • Your landlord must return your security deposit less any deductions for damage in a reasonable amount of time. Make sure to discuss this amount of time with landlord and get it in writing.
  • Send any requests, problems, or follow up to phone conversations/in person conversations in writing to your landlord by certified mail with return receipt requested.