4 essential steps to take in vacating a property

If you are getting ready to vacate a property because of the end of your lease or an eviction, the process can be overwhelming to say the least. Moving all of your belongings, finding a new home or storefront and ending your relationship with your former landlord are all stressful prospects. You can manage the situation and protect yourself, though, by taking care of a few important details. Follow these four steps if you are getting ready to vacate a property.

Document the condition of the property

After you vacate the property, your landlord will likely do a walkthrough to assess its condition and record any damages that you are responsible for. In some cases, you might receive a bill for damages that you did not incur or are not responsible for. Your best defense against such situations is to proactively document the condition of the property. Take photos of all rooms, walls and fixtures so that there is no question as to what damage-if any-has been incurred.

Get all transactions and agreements in writing

As you prepare to leave the property, you will likely interact with your landlord and negotiate dates and stipulations. If you have these conversations over the phone, it is essential to confirm all information in writing, too. The best policy may be to communicate through email so that all interactions and transactions are documented by your paper trail. This makes it difficult for your landlord to renege on an agreement later or change the terms of your arrangement

Adhere to all conditions specified by landlord

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid conflict as you vacate a property is to adhere to the conditions set forth by your landlord. If you agree to vacate by a certain date, abide by your agreement. If your landlord requests that keys be returned to the leasing office, return your keys to the leasing office. This can help you prevent any unnecessary conflict or misunderstanding.

Leave the property in the condition you found it

According to Texas A&M University, tenants in Texas are not responsible for normal wear and tear, which includes standard deterioration of property resultant of expected use. Beyond this, however, you should leave the property in a condition as close as possible to that which you found it in. If you have altered or damaged it for any reason, it is a good idea to complete repairs to restore the property.

If you are involved in a dispute with your landlord, you should be aware of your legal options . Contact an attorney understand your rights as a tenant.

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