Moving-out Checklist: A Complete and Effective Guide

Moving on to a different home is an exciting time! The thrill of creating a new home, maybe exploring a new city, meeting new people, and decorating your new space is definitely something to look forward to, but the process can also be a little overwhelming. Moving out of a rental property, in particular, has its own set of requirements. For that reason, we’ve compiled a handy list of things to do before moving out of a rental property.

1. Provide Notice

All rental agreements request that you provide sufficient notification to the landlord of your move-out date and really, it’s common courtesy. This notification is required in written format and provided 60 days before you move out. You will need to state your intention to leave the property in good condition and your specific moving date. Some agreements ask you to provide a reason for leaving, particularly if you’re requesting to leave before the lease is up. Communication is key. If you keep your landlord up to date on your intentions, the whole process will be smoother and less stressful for all involved.

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2. Give a Thorough Inspection and Repair Damage

In every rental agreement, there is a declaration that the tenant will leave the property in the same condition as when they first moved in. A deposit is typically included with the first rent cheque and is returned once you move out, given you’ve held up your end and kept the place in good working order. When you’re planning on leaving, it’s a good idea to inspect the home for any damage that may have occurred over your time spent in the building. Let’s face it, accidents happen. As the tenant who has been living in the unit, it’s your responsibility to correct those accidents. Normal wear and tear is expected of a home, but any holes in the wall, scratches or dents on the floor, wall colour changes, or broken windows, are up to you to repair. Get that spackle out to go over any holes left by pictures and decor, buff out the scratches that the furniture left on the floor, and be sure everything in your unit is in working order. 

Related: Here’s Why You Need Rental Insurance

3. Ensure Your Bills Are Paid

If there’s one thing you don’t want to leave unfinished, it’s paying your bills. Your landlord has the legal right to put your deposit money towards any unpaid bills you have. Many tenants have it lined up that their rent cheques and their utilities line up to be paid at the same time. All the same, check your utilities (gas, electrical, water) and your services (Internet, cable, phone) to be sure you’ve got everything covered. Be sure to take readings, and photographs, of your gas, electricity, and water meters on your move-out day, just in case.

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4. Clean It All

Once all of your things are packed up and ready to go, you need to make sure you scrub every inch of the home. Some agreements include specific cleaning instructions including whether it’s required to professionally or steam clean carpets, and some just ask that you leave the property in a clean and tidy state. Either way, spotlessness is key. Think of how you would like to come into a new property; you want that place sparkling! So return the favour and leave your home shiny and new for the next renter.

To ensure you hit all the sweet spots, we’ve put together a list of things to clean in each room.


  • Refrigerator and freezer
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Cabinets
  • Sink
  • Floors 
  • Windows


  • Sink
  • Shower and bathtub
  • Toilet
  • Vanity and mirrors
  • Floors
  • Windows
  • Exhaust fans

Living Room:

  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Blinds and curtains
  • Floors
  • Windows
  • Hall closets


  • Walls
  • Hooks and nails
  • Repaint original colour
  • Closets


  • Ceiling fans
  • Doors
  • Light fixtures
  • Outlet covers
  • Air vents
  • Patio
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Countertops

The move-out process can seem like an overwhelming task. Take comfort though, it’s all worth it! Moving into a new home is such an exciting time and filled with possibilities. The important thing is to respect your rental agreement, leave the place exactly as you found it, and move on to your next great adventure!

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