Tenant Move Out Rights

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Every state has its own laws that govern tenant move out rights. These rights typically include the protection and return of tenant property, the return of the tenant's security deposit, and the right to notice if the landlord wants to terminate a tenancy.


A tenant who is on a month-to-month lease is entitled to written notice that the landlord wants the tenant to move. The law in most states usually gives the tenant 30 to 60 days after receiving the notice to vacate the property.

Security Deposit Return

Landlords must return a tenant's security deposit, less any legitimate charges, within a certain time period (often 30 to 45 days) after the tenant moves out. In some states the landlord must also pay the tenant interest on the security deposit.

Walk Through

In some states, like California, a tenant can require the landlord to complete a walk-through inspection prior to the tenant's move-out date. This is so the tenant can make any repairs to avoid security deposit deductions.

Left-Behind Property

Most states require landlords to safely store a tenant's left-behind property, notify the tenant of the property's location, and return the property to the tenant within a specific period of time.

Hold Over

If a landlord accepts a rent payment after a tenant's lease expires, the tenant can be considered a "holdover" tenant and converts to being a month-to-month tenant, with the same right to notice of tenancy termination.


About the Author

Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.

Photo Credits

  • loft apartment image by Christopher Martin from Fotolia.com