Changing residences can be a daunting, but exciting experience. It can take months to find a new place, but once you do, you must notify your landlord of your intent to vacate your current apartment. While most property owners can be fairly easy to deal with, all of your communications should be straightforward and properly delivered to avoid any problems and to ensure that you receive your full security deposit.
Write a letter to your landlord that lists your current address, the address of the management company or property owners, the current date, the address of the property, the unit number and the names of all tenants. If you do not know the address of the company, ask the manager. If you know the name of the owner or rental agent, address the letter to him. Do not simply address your notice to the building manager, as they are unlikely to handle lease termination. Type the letter so that it appears more official.
Provide in the letter the last date that you will be in residences as this gives the landlord an opportunity to plan for cleanings or any work that will need to be completed before the unit can be rented again. For example, you might write: "I, (insert name), a resident of (property address and unit number) am hereby giving notice of my intent to vacate said property on (insert date)." Specify if the vacancy date coincides with the end of your signed lease or if you have been operating under month-to-month tenancy. Make it clear that you understand your right to surrender the property.
Request a walk-through with a manager or rental agent. This will protect you from any later claims of damage or breakage, which could reduce the amount you receive back from your security deposit. List a proposed date for this walk-through, detailing the latest possible day that it could occur.
Provide an address where your security deposit can be sent, preferably your new mailing address.
Inform the landlord that all utilities not paid for by the property owner will be disconnected unless the owner wishes to have them re-listed in the company name. List the date of shut off and specify the utilities to which you are referring. Thank the landlord for your time on the property. Print and sign your name and the names of all tenants who will be vacating the premises. Send the letter with certified postage so that you have proof that it reached its intended destination. Keep a copy of the letter for yourself.
- California Department of Consumer Affairs: Moving Out
- Bernard Hania; Building Manager; BML Properties; Los Angeles
- apartment lease sign image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com