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San Francisco Property Management: The Move Out Process

When a tenant gives you notice and moves out of your rental property, it’s a good idea to have a proactive move out process in place. If you follow certain procedures every time someone moves out, you’ll be able to prepare for the next tenant and keep yourself from losing money. When a process is not in place, landlords can get caught off guard.

One major thing that rental property owners often don’t see coming after a tenant moves out is unpaid utility bills. Sometimes, if those bills aren’t settled by the tenant, the balance owed can be attached to the property. Depending on the utility company, a lien can be placed against the property any time there is an unpaid bill. Not all bills are created equal. If someone has a credit card bill that is unpaid, that debt will typically follow the individual personally. However, with a utility company, the debt can stick with the property.

Make sure your tenant pays all the outstanding utility bills before you refund the security deposit. Otherwise, you will have no recourse when you find out there is a balance owed on utilities and the tenant has no intention of paying. At that point, when the security deposit has already been issued, your only option is to take that tenant to court, and you usually won’t want to do that.

In addition to getting a tenant moved out and checking to make sure the utility bills are paid and up to date, you have to take a good look at the property. You’ll handle the security deposit and the move out inspection as it pertains to your former tenant, but you’ll also need to get the property ready for a new tenant. Once it is vacant, make sure it gets cleaned really well and take care of any repairs or maintenance issues that need attention. Take care of these things quickly so you can get that place back on the market. When you limit your downtime and your vacancy, you’ll be able to generate more income from your rental property.

There is a lot to include in your move out process, and the most important thing you can do is to ensure your investment and your financial interests are protected. If you’d like to learn more, or you need help putting together your own move out procedures, please contact us at Leading Properties, and we’d be happy to help you.