Tenant Exit Guidelines

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Moving can be an extremely stressful and costly time. We urge you to plan in advance to avoid the stress as much as possible and to limit unnecessary expenses.

We very much want to return your entire security deposit. Whether this happens or not is entirely up to you. This guide is intended to avoid unnecessary charges and to guide you through the move out process.

Step 1: Providing Proper Notice

Unless you have received termination notice from Patriot, you will need to provide proper written notice sixty days in advance of lease expiration date. For example, if your lease is set to expire on June 30, and you do not intend on renewing, you must provide written notice no later then May 1.

If you want to terminate the lease prior to the expiration date, we ask that you review paragraph’s 23 and 25 to see which section of the lease applies to your situation. Of course, if you have questions, please contact us. Note, Patriot Properties, Inc. will not modify any of the lease provisions.

Step 2: Preparing the Property for Turn Over


All Carpeting must be professionally cleaned by a pre-approved company and free of any dirt marks or stains. Note, renting a machine and cleaning the carpet yourself will not be accepted.

Wood floors must be cleaned with a wood floor cleaning product such as “Bona” wood floor cleaning products. These are damp mop products. Note the use of harsh cleaners may damage the floor finish.

All non-carpeted floors such as tile, stone, vinyl, etc. must be washed/cleaned and free of dirt and debris.

Walls, Ceilings, Doors

Wash the walls where needed. In most cases a quick wiped down will be sufficient. However, there may be a need to use a cleaner such as “Simple Green” or “Soft Scrub”. Be careful not to cause damage by being overzealous in your cleaning all walls, ceilings and closet interiors must be free of smudges, grease and food stains.

Wash all woodwork, moldings, trims, doors and baseboards. These areas must be free of dirt, dust and stains.


Appliances: Must be completely empty of your belongings, cleaned inside and outside. You must use the appropriate cleaning products to avoid damaging the appliance. For example, stainless steel cleaner, glass stove top cleaner, etc... WARNING do not use oven cleaner on self-cleaning ovens and do not use steel wool pads on any appliance or porcelain covered item.

  • Refrigerator “Do not turn off”
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Disposal
  • Oven
  • Cook top/stove
  • Grease hood
  • Kitchen cabinets, shelves, and drawers must be cleaned inside and out and any shelf liner you installed removed.
  • Counters must be clean.
  • Sinks and faucets must be clean.


Bathroom floors and walls must be cleaned. This includes the grout and caulking.Re-caulk as needed, per the lease agreement.

All tubs, showers, sinks, counters and toilets must be cleaned, disinfected and free of soap scum and cleanser residues.

All medicine chests, vanities and drawers must be cleaned inside and out andshelf liners removed. All windows, screens, storms and window sills must be washed. This includes the area between the window and storm/screens.

Interior - General

Furnace filters: Reusable Filters must be of the correct size clean and throw away filters must be new.

All windows, screens, storms and window sills must be clean. This includes the area between the window and storm/screens.

Provided window treatments, if any that were provided or are being left must be cleaned and ingood working condition.

All lightbulbs must be in working order. Light globes must be cleaned inside and out.

Washer/dryer: Washing machine and Dryer must be wiped down and free of soap residue and lint.

Any changes made to the home by you during your tenancy must be restored to its' original condition unless it was otherwise agreed to in writing (i.e. painting different colors, etc.).

All smoke detectors must have working batteries if applicable.

All exhaust fans/vent covers must be clean and free of dust and grease.

Garage if applicable must be clean. The floor swept and free of stains. If there were tools when you moved in please insure they are in place upon your departure.

Wood burning fireplaces/stoves must be professionally swept just prior to the end of the lease and a receipt provided at check out.

Exterior - General

Gutters and downspouts must be free of leaves and debris.

All flower and plant beds must be clean and free of weeds,leaves, yard debris and freshly mulched.

Grass must be recently cut/trimmed and free from pet waste and yard debris.

Shrubs must be neatly trimmed and not overgrown.

Walkways must be swept and free of weeds/debris.

All trash, yard debris and unwanted personal items must be removed from the property.

Firewood must be stacked and no closer than 8” from the home or any fencing/wood structure.

Driveway must be free of oil stains, etc.

If you have a tool/garden shed sweep it out.

Step 3: Utilities

Utilities (Gas, Water & Electric) must be on at the time of check out. However, you do need to arrange with your utility providers to turn off the utilities after your lease expires. If your lease ends on a weekend, or holiday, then turn off the utilities on the following business day.

If you have an oil or propane tank you must leave the tank full upon your departure and provide a copy of the paid receipt.

Step 4: Scheduling the check-out inspection

We will contact you roughly two weeks prior to your leasetermination date, to schedule the check out. Note: all check out appointments are scheduled between 10:00AM and 4:30PM.

Step 5: The check-out inspection

The inspector will perform an inspection which is similar to the check- in inspection. A written report will be completed and a full set of photos will be taken. A copy of the written report will be provided to you at check out. Copies of the photos are not provided. The inspector will ask for all keys, remotes, fobs, parking passes, etc. at this time. Note: you will not have access to the property once the check- out inspection is complete. In addition, the inspector will ask for the following receipts/information:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Chimney sweep
  • De-flea/de-tick
  • Oil/propane
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Your forwarding address and contact information.

Step 6: Security Deposit Return

    • In order to be as fair as possible to both you and the landlord, we do compare the check-in report with the check-out report plus the property file to determine if there are any property damages in excess of normal wear and tear or other deductions that apply to the deposit.
    • Your deposit minus any fair and reasonable deductions will be sent to your last known address on or before 45 days after the expiration of the lease agreement. We want to refund 100% of your deposit. However, the lease requirements will be fully and fairly enforced.

Let’s work together to expedite the return of your deposit. On your end, PLEASE have the property ready for turnover in accordance with the lease/checkout guide. Then pay your water bill and send us a copy of the paid water bill. On our end, we will process the return as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if we have to arrange for maintenance, damage repairs or cleaning. This will take time and delay the return of the remainder of your deposit.

Common security deposit deductions you can avoid.

  • Not being ready for check-out at the scheduled time.
  • Not leaving the property clean.
  • Failing to have the carpet professionally cleaned.
  • Failing to de-flea/de-tick
  • Torn screens/broken windows
  • Not pruning bushes
  • Not cutting the lawn
  • Not mulching the flower beds
  • Failing to re-caulk tubs.

Frequently asked check out questions

Q. Can I return to the property to …?

A. No,once the check- out has taken place, you will not have access to the property.

Q. Can I clean the carpeting myself with either my own equipment or rental equipment?

A. No,the lease specifically requires that the carpeting be professionally cleaned.

Q. I have never used the fireplace, do I still have to have it professionally swept?

A. Yes, there is no way for us to know if a fireplace has been used or not. Therefore, because of the safety involved we must insist that the chimney be swept by a professional sweep.

Q. Do I have to be present for the check-out inspection?

A. No, we conduct many inspections without the tenants being present. If you cannot be present, simply leave the receipts, keys, fobs, parking passes, etc. and your forwarding information on the kitchen counter.