Tip #42

Specify Move-in/Move-out Times in the Lease

Written on May 19, 2014 by , updated on June 11, 2014

Specify-Move-TimesA great way to maximize rental revenue is to ensure that your property is never vacant.

Vacancy is the ultimate profit killer. (tweetable?)

I always try to create back-to-back leases so that someone is paying rent every day of the year. As soon as one lease ends, I want the next one to start the next day.

What About Turnovers?

Between tenancies, I have an obligation to make any necessary repairs and ensure the premises are thoroughly cleaned for the next tenants.

It’s a lot to handle when I have back-to-back leases. The trick is buffering enough time to accomplish everything, and not waiting until the last minute for something that can be done during a tenancy.

For example, a door knob can be fixed while tenants are living there. However, a thorough, floor-to-ceiling cleaning can only be done when the place is empty.

Specify Move-in/Move-out Times

To minimize the time a unit sits vacant while still leaving me enough time to turn the property over, I specify move-in and move-out times in the lease.

I include the following “Term” clause in all my leases:

Move-in/move-out times are not that uncommon. Hotels specify check-in/check-out times and charge by the night, rather than by the day. Likewise, my renters have access to the property every day of the lease term, except that the first (or last) day lease is simply shortened when you specify a move-in/move-out time.

To be honest, it seems like some tenants even prefer to have a “check-in/check-out” time. It’s a familiar concept, and it helps them schedule their move more efficiently if they have a timeframe to work within.

If I don’t specify a time, they always end up asking “how early can we move in?

28 Hours

The 40 Minute War

The 40 Minute War

Assuming that my tenants don’t holdover the property, creating this time buffer guarantees that I have at least 28 hours to replace carpet, paint rooms, changes locks, clean, etc, without losing any rent.

If I’m smart about scheduling contractors in advance, I can accomplish most anything in 28 hours. After all, the Anglo-Zanzibar War only took 40 minutes.

Give it a try and add move-in/move-out times to your lease. You’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: Express Monorail via cc
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56 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Shayla

    If I sign a rental agreement of a twelve month lease on August 7th 2016 and termination date is August 6th 2017 but decide to not leave and sign a new lease with a higher payment when does the new higher monthly payment start? The new lease with the higher monthly payment started august 8th 2016 so when is the higher fee due?

  • Rhyanna Baker

    My contract started in 10/01/2016
    And its schuled to end 10/1/2017
    That automatically clause for renewal ,but I have turned in a written notice to my landlord and he is aware of when I moved out. We did move out early with his permission with the understanding that if he rents the place then at that time before Oct 1, 2017 we would be free of the contract . .. According to the landlord which is only a verbal agreement .
    My question on the contract end date 10/1/2017 would we be responsible for the month of October to pay him rent ?

  • carolyn cline

    My grandson signed a lease where the length of the lease is vacant, no dates what so ever in how long he must stay. He wants to relocate, yet his landlord says he has a 12 month lease. What can he do?

  • Jennifer Hoggatt

    I signed a lease and it states that it is for a term of 1 year with the same apt complex that I was already with. Each lease was for a term of 1-yr. The 1st lease was dated from 09/01/15 to 08/31/2016 and the second lease was from 09/01/16 to 09/30/17. I believe there may have been an error when calculating the dates. I moved out of the residence on 08/31/2017- and I am being told that I moved too soon. My question is which should I have followed? The year or the actual dates. Please help so that I will know how I should proceed moving forward. Thanks in advance.

  • Barbara

    If the Lease finish on November 30 and the tenant go out on December 1, at 11am he need to paid the day

    • Mary

      Usually in my state they are liable for the full month as they entered another rental period and may have kept New tenants from moving in.

  • Ashley

    I had a tenant sign lease for July 2017 for a six month time moved out end of November do I keep the deposit

  • Kiara

    We move out August 1 n we are moving in August the 1

  • Brenda Carrera

    Should my lease go from April 1 2017 to April 30 2018 ??? Or should I be moving out at the end of march ?

  • K whelan

    I moved in on Jun 6 2017 and requested a 12 month lease. I was told that I had to stay until
    the end of June 2018 with the lease starting July 1, 2017. I of course paid the whole prorated month for June 2017. I disputed the fact that it was not actually 12 months from the date of move in.
    They made me sign the lease anyway.
    I want to move out on June 6, 2018 making it actually 12 months but cant.

    Is it legal for them to make me stay 13 months on a 12 month lease?
    thanks so much

  • Shawn

    On the face this sounds smart: maximing time, saving money.

    But I love how you landlords don’t care about the inconveniences of moving. While a tenant is stuck double paying you’re more than happy to stiff two tenants out of their partial days . You’re probably a real stickler to penalize for even an hour of lost time. You know if prorating by 30-day months is allowed in your city then moving in on the 2nd is the same total rent in 31-day months. That’ll make you a truly diabolical genius.

    I can empathize with landlords having been burned by bad tenants but as a guy who just wants to deal with reasonable human beings I’m quite turned off by the attitudes of most property managers and the way they treat people.

  • NYer

    My property manager wants to hold the tenants rent until their move in date, not their lease date. Is that normal? Their lease began on the 15th but they won’t be in until end of the month, I just don’t see how that should effect when we the get paid?

  • Traci

    My daughter signed an 18 month lease. It ends on January 14th. She wants to move out on December 19th, but plans on paying her January rent and hand over the keys and do the walk through.. Is this breaking the lease?
    She is being told it would be breaking the lease and will incur huge fees. ?? If she’s paying the rent, how is it? Confused…

  • Bobbie

    I just noticed my lease says Feb 11, 2019 till Feb 28, 2019. Is the lease legal. The amount stated for full year is 14,000.

  • Tequila Sidney

    I move in my apartment August 4, 2015 and I’m planning on renting to buy a house so when should I move out my apartment

  • Ashley

    I moved into my townhome on sept 21st, the landlord says i have to pay through the end of sept is this the case on a 12 month lease?

  • shonta williams

    I started a 1 year lease which went from Feb 2018 to feb 2019. I wanted to continue another year. Should my new lease agreement date start when the old one end? My landlord kept forgetting to type up the new agreement. When she finally did it was 3 months later and she used that date as the new agreement. Is that legal? It seems like she is trying to get extra months out of the agreement.

  • Adam

    Our lease is up 8/30. Our building (condo, renting from an owner) won’t allow us to move out on 8/30 because two other moves are scheduled. Do we have any legal rights or anyone have advice to give?

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