When it’s time to move out, there are a lot of things to do besides packing! Read our helpful tips to help make your move more efficient and get your damage deposit back.
Move Out Form: tenants are required to give a written notice to move out 20 days prior to your lease end date. If on a month to month lease, notice is required 20 days prior to the end of the month to avoid being responsible for the following months rent. This form can be emailed, faxed, or brought in to our office.
One Month Ahead
Schedule your moving help far ahead of time. Try to have all items removed at least 2 days prior to the move out date in order to leave the unit on time and clean.
2 Weeks Before:
- Mail – please provide the post office with a forwarding address at usps.com.
- Electricity – stop or move service for your home or apartment directly with Puget Sound Energy at pse.com. Schedule service stop or transfer date effective as of your move out date with Windermere.
- Cable TV – Transfer cable, internet or other related services.
2 Days Before:
- Remove your personal belongings to allow time to clean.
- Review our Cleaning Check List on the back of the move out form.
- Vacuum thoroughly. The carpets will be professionally cleaned after you move out as per your Lease, so please do not do this yourself. But, please remove all debris or additional charges may apply.
- Dispose of non-household furniture at a proper location. Do not use the dumpster.
Replace these items before you leave to avoid extra charges:
- Burned out light bulbs – if ceilings are too high to replace, leave new bulbs on the kitchen counter. Non-conforming (not similar) light bulbs (all bulbs must be of similar type and 65 watts or less).
- Missing or dead smoke/carbon monoxide detector batteries. If ceilings are too high to replace, leave the new batteries on the kitchen counter.
- Oven drip pans that are size appropriate to the appliance.
By end of day on the day your lease expires, return keys, parking permits, mailbox keys, storage keys, garage door openers, etc. to our Windermere Property Management office at 541 W. Bakerview Road. Please bring all keys from ALL roommates at once. Keys MUST be returned to Windermere Management. Do not leave keys at the unit.
After Moving Out:
Please leave Windermere a forwarding address (and phone number) so we can mail your deposit refund check. In the case of multiple tenants, deposits will be mailed to the forwarding address of the tenant representative. Deposit refunds will be mailed to the rental address in absence of any forwarding address.
About the keys
Keys MUST be returned to Windermere Management. Do not leave keys at the unit.
If you plan to mail the keys, make sure they are SECURE in the envelope and it is mailed well in advance to be received by our office by end of day of your lease expiration date.
If the office is closed, please place all related items in an envelope. Write your unit address on the sealed envelope before placing them in our drop box. Be sure you enclose a forwarding address and phone number.
A Windermere employee will compare all the items you are returning to the original check out sheet. You may be charged for any discrepancies such as keys that don’t match the originals. If we do not receive the original keys and any copies made, you will be charged to change the locks.
Once keys are received in our office, the move out inspection will be performed by one of our property managers.
How move out charges are determined
There are 4 main categories: Paint, Flooring, Cleaning, and Maintenance
- At inspection, Windermere will document all cleaning, painting, carpet and damage issues found in the unit and compare them to the condition checklist from move-in.
- You will be responsible for any damages or painting that are not considered normal wear & tear AND are not documented on the move-in checklist.
- You will be charged for any cleaning needed that was not documented at move-in.
- Deposit refunds are mailed from our office approximately 21 days from receipt of the unit keys.
Deposit return disputes
If you disagree with a charge, please contact us at 360-733-7944 and tell us exactly which item(s) you are disputing so we can review the move out inspection notes and all other related documents. We want you AND the property owner to be happy, so please take care of your unit and clean it thoroughly when you move.
Holdover Charges: if you remain in your unit for any reason beyond the date your Lease expires or fail to return keys by the same date / time, you will be charged the cost of the daily rent for each day in the holdover period and if necessary the cost of re-keying the lock(s) and making new keys.
Deposit Returns Involving Multiple Roommates: the deposit check will be mailed to the tenant representative as stated on the lease documents.
House Utilities: make sure all your garbage, water/sewer, electricity, and gas bills are paid through the date the keys are returned. Outstanding utility balances (water/sewer and garbage) will be deducted from the security deposit. Please leave the Garbage/Recycling bins empty on the day of move out. Call ahead for special pickups from Sanitary Service Corp if needed. If you are responsible for lawn care, all the beds must be weeded and clear of debris, bushes trimmed and grass cut, and yard waste removed as described in your Lease.
Roommates and Lease Takeovers
Roommate disagreements: Windermere does not mediate roommate disputes. Try to work things out or agree for one person to move out. The easiest and most inexpensive thing is to stay and finish out your lease.
To add or change a roommate:
- To add a roommate, the new potential tenant must fill out an application and pay all application/co-signer fees, then submit the application to our office and go through the normal application and approval process. Additional roommates are not allowed if your account is not in good standing and outstanding charges unpaid.
- If approved, the new roommate must pay a $500 administrative fee, and pick up and read all lease documents associated with the unit. The new roommate and all current tenants must sign a “Change of Resident Form.” The new roommate should get the keys and parking permit (if applicable) from the exiting tenant.
If roommates can’t get along:
The easiest option is to find someone to take over the roommate’s lease.
- Before any change can take place, your account must be in good standing (i.e. no outstanding balances due).
- If one tenant decides to leave, a new tenant may be found to take the outgoing tenant’s spot.
- Once someone is approved, the outgoing tenant must pay the “Break Lease Fee” as described by the lease.
- The incoming tenant must come to the Windermere office to pick up and review all documents associated with the lease.
- The deposit stays with the unit. The tenants are responsible for determining how to reimburse each other for the deposit.
- All parties must sign a one-page document that transfers the lease from the outgoing tenant (and related co-signer) into the name of the incoming tenant. Windermere is not involved in finding new tenants and transactions occur with all tenants’ consent.
If the remaining roommate doesn’t want a new roommate:
- When only one tenant is leaving and the remaining tenant is not allowing the outgoing tenant to find someone to take over the lease, then the remaining tenant can agree to let the outgoing tenant out of the lease by signing a “Lease Takeover” with those involved.
- The account must be in good standing with no outstanding balances.
- The remaining tenant will need to submit a new Co-signer Application Form prepared with the name of only the remaining tenant. This notifies the Co-signers that a change is taking place and fewer people are now involved in the rent pool.
- These Co-signers must be submitted to us before we prepare documents for a “lease transfer”.
- The outgoing tenant must pay the “break lease” fee as defined by the lease.
- The Security Deposit stays with unit.
- Once all steps have been followed, all parties must sign a “Change of Residence Form” for the outgoing tenant and their related cosigner to be removed from the lease.
If one roommate leaves, all others are still liable for the lease!
Don’t move a new roommate in unless they have been approved:
- If utilities are in the name of a tenant that will remain in the unit after the takeover, nothing is required.
- If utilities are in the name of the tenant that is leaving, the outgoing tenant should contact the related utility company to have the utilities turned off in their name as of the date the lease takeover is effective.
- The new tenant should call the utility companies and have the utilities turned on as of the day after the effective date.
- Because the utilities should be transferred directly from one tenant’s name into the other tenant’s name, Windermere should not receive a bill for the owner.
- If tenants fail to coordinate the transfer of utilities and Windermere receives a bill, tenants will be charged a billing fee of $25.00 per billing cycle per the “Utility Billing Agreement” in your lease.
If everyone wants to move:
All roommates can vacate and release the unit back to Windermere, and Windermere finds new tenants for the unit. But, everyone still remains responsible for rent, utilities, etc. until new tenants are found.
- Tenants will be charged for finding new tenants as described in their lease.
- Charges include but are not limited to advertising fees, “break lease” fees, etc.
- Once keys are returned, the Landlord will issue a statement within 21 days to show all the outstanding charges on the account. This will include rent through the end of the lease term. This will be adjusted if/when new tenants are found. Once a tenant is found, Windermere will issue a new statement.
Early Vacate Policy
If you plan to vacate your apartment before the end of your lease term, you and related roommates will be responsible for rent until you find someone to take over your lease. Vacating the unit and returning the keys does NOT mean you are released from the Lease terms and conditions. Tenants who vacate their unit prior to the end of the lease term remain responsible for all the duties and conditions of the lease until the unit is re-rented or until the lease term expires.
Windermere will not allow a lease takeover if your account is delinquent. All outstanding balances owed must be paid.
There is a $500 charge for any change of tenant/roommate as defined in your lease. If all tenants vacate the unit, a non-refundable administrative fee of ½ one month’s rent will be charged with the move out notice.
Finding someone to take over your lease:
- Advertise on Craigslist
- Advertise in local media sources
- Word of mouth through friends
- Post flyers where allowed
What is involved with a “Lease Takeover:”
- Lease takeovers will not be allowed if Windermere feels the unit is damaged well beyond normal wear and tear which would create a financial burden for a new tenant to assume the lease.
- Windermere may also deny any lease takeovers when a lease has already been assigned more than twice or the original lease is more than four years old.
- You, the tenant, should take calls regarding your unit and show it to prospective tenants.
- Once you find an interested person, she/he must fill out an application, pay the related application fees, and be approved through our office.
- Applications can be submitted on our website at www.rentalsbywindermere.com, listed under the available rentals as “Change of Residence/Lease Takeover.” If the person you find does not qualify, you are responsible for finding another person.
- Don’t stop advertising or showing your unit until you know the paperwork is completed and the lease transferred.
When someone is approved:
- Both you and the applicant will be notified of the specific instructions regarding the approval.
- Once those tasks are completed, the lease transfer documents will be prepared for everyone’s signature. All documents must be signed before the transfer can take place.
- If some tenants are staying on the lease, they will need to sign the “lease transfer” documents as well. If roommates that are staying refuse to sign, we cannot allow the transfer to take place.
- You must coordinate transferring keys and parking permits with the new tenants.
The Security Deposit:
If you can’t find someone to take over your lease:
- When you give your keys to Windermere, all amounts that would be due through the end of the lease will become due and payable as of the vacate date.
- Windermere will begin advertising your unit as available to rent immediately.
- You will be charged any costs associated with re-renting your unit as described in the Cleaning/Damage/Security Deposit Agreement.
- These charges include but are not limited to advertising fees, re-rent fees, normal break lease fees, carpet cleaning, general cleaning, and any other tenant repairs as detailed in the Cleaning/Damage/Security Deposit Agreement.
About unauthorized pets and a “lease takeover”:
If an unauthorized pet lived in the unit, any takeover of the lease will require:
- The outgoing tenant must pay for a UV test on the carpet (performed by a Windermere approved vendor) before we will allow the takeover to take place. The receipt and results of this test must be given to Windermere to review.
- If the test results indicate any pet damage exists, the outgoing tenant will be required to resolve these issues in a manner approved by Windermere before we will allow the lease takeover to move forward.