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General Tips For Vacating

Posted by provest on March 22, 2021

When moving out of your present residence, one of your most important considerations will undoubtedly be taking the proper steps to ensure the prompt and complete return of your security deposit. The following guidelines are intended to assist you in preparing the property for final inspection, and the refund of your security deposit.

You are required by your lease to provide a written thirty day notice of intent to vacate to Provest Property Management. Please complete the online 30 Day Notice of Intent to Vacate form, located on the “Moving Out” page of our website. You will receive a countersigned copy as soon as an agent from Provest has reviewed the notice to vacate. 

Review your move in inspection form that was completed at the time you originally moved into the residence. As an additional consideration you are required to return the residence to its original condition, normal wear and tear expected.

You should also review the lease contract you initially signed, along with any subsequent addendums. These documents will provide additional information as to specific responsibilities. Departing residents are required to have carpeting cleaned. You should also ensure that all light fixtures and bulbs are operational, smoke detectors are functioning, doorstops are intact, and window coverings and screens are properly installed. In addition to those tasks noted above, the most significant effort you can take to ensure return of your security deposit is to properly clean the residence. The following checklist is intended primarily as a guide, and should not be considered absolute. The specific layout and amenities of your residence will determine the actual cleaning and preparation required.

Table of Contents


Occasionally we have discovered physical damage, beyond normal wear and tear, when the property has been vacated. The cost to repair damage or abuse will be a deduction from the security deposit. Please review the information below about rules for performing repairs to the premises prior to the termination of your tenancy. If you have questions on this matter, please contact Provest Property Management.

  • Tenant will be held responsible for all damage done to the Premises other than normal wear and tear.
  • Repairs may be performed by Tenant or through others, who have adequate insurance and licenses and are approved by Landlord. The work shall comply with applicable law, including governmental permit, inspection and approval requirements.
  • Repairs shall be performed in a good, skillful manner with materials of quality and appearance comparable to existing materials. (It is understood that exact restoration of appearance or cosmetic items following all Repairs may not be possible.)
  • All alterations/improvements made by or caused to be made by Tenant, with or without Landlord’s consent, become the property of Landlord upon termination. Landlord may charge Tenant for restoration of the Premises to the condition it was in prior to any alterations/improvements.
  • If a television was mounted on the wall/ceiling of the Premises, Tenant is responsible to return the wall/ceiling to its move-in condition at move-out, otherwise, the cost to restore the wall/ceiling to its move-in condition will be deducted from the Security Deposit.

Cleaning Requirements:

You will be expected to return the property to the same level of cleanliness as it was when you moved in. You are not required to have the house professionally cleaned; however, the properties Provest Realty Inc manages are generally professionally cleaned prior to a tenant moving in. If you wish to clean the property yourself, The following checklist is intended primarily as a guide, and should not be considered absolute. The specific layout and amenities of your residence will determine the actual cleaning and preparation required.


  • Clean refrigerator, including all shelves, crisper, footguard. Wipe off top, sides and doors.
  • Clean stovetop and oven, paying attention to broiler pan, burners or coils, drip pans, controls and the “collection” area under drip pans. – Unless your oven is a self-cleaning appliance, use oven cleaner on interior, including the door gasket. Please do not leave aluminum foil on drip pans!
  • Clean the upper and lower surfaces of the range hood, and wash out metal filter (suggestion: if practical, run it through the dishwasher).
  • Clean all incidental appliances, including microwave and dishwasher.
  • Scrub sink thoroughly. Leave no refuse in disposal.
  • Empty all shelves and cabinets. Clean thoroughly, including drawer interiors and door handles.
  • Wipe spills from walls and around outlets. Clean outlet plates.
  • Wipe off counter tops and clean cutting board.
  • Clean light fixtures/covers.
  • Sweep and mop behind all appliances that can be readily moved (i.e. refrigerator).


  • Scrub out tub/shower and remove any decals you applied while in residence. Remove soap and water residue from pan, wall surround and glass enclosure.
  • Clean toilet inside and out.
  • Scrub sink, clean countertop and vanity and/or medicine cabinets.
  • Polish chrome and mirror.
  • Clean light fixture/cover.
  • Sweep and mop floor.

Living Room / Dining Room / Family Room / Bedrooms / Hallways:

  • Clean baseboards, doorframes, walls and switch plates, removing fingerprints and other marks. Wash with mild soap solution only.
  • Remove any picture hangers, nails or “stick-on” picture hangers from walls carefully! DO NOT RIP OFF! (Review your lease agreement for additional steps necessary to patch after removing any type of nail or hangers.)
  • Check window coverings for dirt, stains or signs of damage. Clean as appropriate.
  • Check tops of traverse rods and valances, clean as necessary.
  • Clean windowsills, windows and screens. Check window tracks. Clean out dirt to allow water from condensation to dissipate. Remove any stickers from windows.
  • Clean heater vent covers and change air filter.
  • Remove cobwebs throughout.
  • Vacuum closets and remove clothes hangers and other incidentals.
  • Clean light fixtures, make sure all bulbs are operational.

Carport / Garage / Patio:

  • Patios cleaned.
  • Clean and sweep carport or garage floor.
  • Remove any oil spills.
  • Dispose of any remaining refuse.
  • Clean any storage closets or compartments.
  • Remove cobwebs.

Yard Care / Landscaping:

  • Lawns should be mowed and well-maintained.
  • Yard waste, weeds and debris should be removed.
  • Walkways and porches should be swept.
  • Appearance of landscaping, at minimum, should be consistent with how it looked when you moved in.
  • If you are liable for exterior care and cleaning, the outside of your residence should be suitably prepared before you vacate, so it doesn’t look untended and ignored. Any debris or personal refuse should be properly disposed of. (Yard waste containers are not to be used for trash disposal – hauling companies will not separate trash from yard waste, and may charge additional fees for special handling.)

Carpet Cleaning Requirements:

  • Tenants are required to have carpets professionally cleaned when vacating the Premises.
  • An invoice/receipt for the carpet cleaning must be submitted to Provest Realty Inc., otherwise, a carpet cleaning charge will be deducted from the Security Deposit.
  • A common occurrence is urine contamination caused by an animal or other source.If, after the Premises is vacated, there is discoloration observed or an odor is detected, the Premises will be inspected using a blacklight. If urine contamination is discovered by the blacklight inspection, the cost of the urine decontamination and/or flooring replacement will be charged against the security deposit even though it is not noted on the pre-move out inspection.
  • Contact Provest Realty Inc for their preferred carpet cleaning vendor.

Final inspections are performed by Provest Property Management after the property is completely empty of personal belongings, and once the vacating resident has completed all cleaning and preparation they intended to accomplish personally.

Rent is due through the term of your lease and may not be deducted from your security deposit. You are required to return the keys to our office. Our office is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 5:00pm. Saturdays by appointment only.

Lastly, along with your keys, please be sure to provide us with your receipt for the carpet cleaning and forwarding address, so we can mail you your security deposit refund! Refunds will be mailed within twenty one days of the lease termination date and mailed to the last address on file.

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