Move-Out Check List for Student Tenants

Monday, April 1, 2019

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Students at most colleges and universities are approaching the time of year when they pack up their belongings to move back home for the summer or into a different rental accommodation. We previously discussed preparing for the move-in process and now are providing tips for the move-out process.


Students are advised to find out what the landlord’s move-out procedures and timelines are.  Students should also prepare within the weeks prior to the move-out date, rather than wait until the last minute. Preparation and planning provide the greatest efficiency, reduce stress, avoid misunderstandings and prevent unnecessary fees to be incurred. Communication with the landlord is key during this time.


It’s important for students to check the rental or lease agreement for specific move-out expectations given by the landlord. Month-to-month rental arrangements still require appropriate notice, which vary per state and province. Lease agreements may also require notice to avoid automatic renewals or month-to-month arrangements thereafter. Check out our Notice to Vacate Template in Student Resources for assistance with giving notice to a landlord.


How student tenants can prepare weeks prior to move-out:


  • Collect boxes or crates
  • Purchase moving supplies such as packing tape, markers and newspaper to wrap fragile items
  • For apartment or condo buildings, book the elevator ahead of time, especially when moving larger items
  • Call for quotes to secure a moving company or request the assistance of friends and family, well ahead of the move-out date
  • If responsible for paying the utilities, contact the utility company and provide the change of address for where to forward the final bill
  • Provide notice to cancel the renters insurance and all service providers more than 30 days prior to move-out
  • If a storage unit is required, call for quotes and availability to secure beforehand
  •  If a hotel or short-term accommodation is required until the next rental accommodation is available or until moving, check out the school’s Short Term Rental category or search local hotel listings beforehand
  • Sell unnecessary items and furniture no longer needed
  • Repair damages or communicate with the landlord regarding any outstanding repairs
  • Ensure all rental fees and bills are fully paid
  • Pack ahead of time and don’t leave it until the last minute!!


Things student tenants should do at move-out:


  • Return the rental unit keys in accordance to the lease or rental agreement instructions
  • Ensure everything brought into the rental unit has been removed – don’t forget to pack or discard all food in the fridge and freezer
  • Clean the unit completely by wiping down all kitchen cupboards/surfaces and appliances, sweeping and washing all floors, vacuuming all carpets, and disinfecting the bathroom
  • If a pet lived in the unit, ensure appropriate clean-up is done to remove stains, hair and odour
  • Remove all garbage from the rental unit
  • Take photos before leaving – the unit should look the same as it did at move-in (with the exception of normal wear and tear)
  • In cities where rental deposits are legal and one was given to the landlord upon move-in, review the lease for details and request the deposit return from the landlord
  • Leave punctually and on a good note
  • Ask the landlord for a reference letter or permission to use this tenancy as a reference in the future
  • Do not remove anything from the rental unit that is not yours!



SEE ALSO:  Moving/Packing and Move In/Out Inspection Checklists

The Team