Your goal as a landlord is not only to have tenants but to keep tenants (the good ones anyway) as long as possible. But no matter how wonderful you are as a landlord, and how great your rental may be, there usually comes a time when your tenant needs to move.
When your tenant plans to move, you should make the move-out process as smooth as possible. This benefits you and your tenant—when your tenant knows what to expect, they’re more likely to meet your expectations. Here are some templates you can use when your tenants’ leases are about to end.
The lease renewal letter
If you want your tenant to sign a new lease, contact them about two months before the current lease is due to end. The purpose of the lease renewal letter is to find out what their intentions are and to explain what they need to do if they wish to continue to live in your rental.
Tip: This is the time to raise the rent if you intend to.
Note: If you do nothing after the lease ends, and your tenant stays, your tenant becomes a month-to-month tenant.
Lease renewal letter template
Dear [name of resident],
It’s almost time to think about renewing your lease. I want to continue to have you as a resident and appreciate how friendly and easy you are to work with. Thank you so much for paying your rent on time every month and taking such great care of the property.
As you can imagine, over the last year my expenses on the property have increased.
Anyway, I am covering most of the expenses since I enjoy having you as a resident, and the good news is that your rent is only slightly increasing. I want to make the payments as low as possible, and the rent is only increasing [amount of increase] a month. Your new monthly rent amount will be [new rent amount], effective [date].
If you do not wish to renew your lease, please let me know as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to give me a call. I look forward to having you as a resident for a long time.
P.S. I have included a new lease for the upcoming year. If this lease is satisfactory, please sign it and send it back to me. This is the same lease you signed last year. Nothing has changed except [list any and all changes].
Note: You don’t have to increase the rent. If you don’t want to, change that section to reflect the rent will remain the same.
2. The move-out letter
If your tenant decides not to renew and wishes to move, send them a move-out letter about a month before the lease ends. The purpose is to give instructions on what you expect of your tenant.
Move-out letter template
Dear [name of resident],
Thank you for renting my house these past [length of time].
This letter is your reminder that you will need to remove all your possessions by [ending date of lease]. If you move out before then, please let me know. In the event that you abandon personal property or junk on the premises or in front of the property, you may be held responsible for the cost of removal for those materials.
Your lease requires that you leave your unit in a clean and undamaged condition. I have every intention of returning all of your security deposit as long as you have fulfilled your agreement.
Specifically, you should do the following:
- Remove all food, debris, and other personal belongings.
- Clean (and defrost if necessary) refrigerator.
- Clean stove, oven, and any other appliances.
- Replace any burned out light bulbs.
- Clean all floors and vacuum carpeting.
- Report any and all damage in writing.
Upon leaving, please be sure to fully secure the rental by locking all windows and doors. The designated place to leave all keys and the garage door opener is [state where you want this left]. Please lock the door when leaving.
After you have vacated the rental, it will be inspected and photographed for compliance with your lease. The expense of cleaning beyond normal wear or repairing damage, if any, will be charged against your security deposit. You will be notified of any charges. Please leave a forwarding address.
I wish you the best in your new home.
Note: This letter contains language about lease requirements. Make sure yours does as well before you include that.
3. Notice to pay rent or quit
If your current tenant missed a rent payment (or two), you probably shouldn’t invite them to renew the lease. In fact, you should send them a letter asking them to pay the rent ASAP or leave.
Notice to pay rent or quit template
Please take notice that the rent is past due at [address of the rental property], which you currently hold and occupy. Your rental account is delinquent in the amount itemized as follows:
Rental period: [list the month(s) you haven’t received rent]
Total rent due: [list the amount]
Pursuant to the written lease beginning [date the lease began], and terminating on [date the lease ends], you are hereby required to pay said rent on said premises, or you are hereby required to deliver up possession of the premises within three (3) days after service on you of this notice to the undersigned, or the undersigned will institute legal proceedings against you to declare a forfeiture of the lease under which you occupy said premises and to recover possession thereof, including rents and damages.
The undersigned does elect to terminate the lease if the rent is not paid within three (3) days.
The premises referred to are commonly known as:
[Your name, address, phone number, and email]
Once you rent your property, you will hopefully have wonderful tenants who stay a long time. But since that isn’t always the case, you can still make things easier for everyone involved if you are proactive with your tenants by letting them know what the expectations are during move-out time.