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Process of Moving Out Of a Residence Rented Under Section 8

As there are eligibility criteria for participating in the federally funded housing assistance program (Section 8) so is there a standard process to vacate the accommodation rented through this voucher program. Contrary to public housing, Section 8 participation does not demote benefit holders to a limited selection of housing sites rather the beneficiaries can move and retain their subsidy, as long as they follow HUD guidelines.


Vacating a property

Moving out of a property has a variety of dynamics and reasons.

  1. Federal rules allow Section 8 households to move, and keep assistance, within the authority where they initially obtained their benefits.
  2. The moving out of a tenant can occur due to a range of reasons including agreement, eviction or a local housing agency’s choice to end its affiliation with a landlord. HUD is bound to allow an occupant to move if he/she falls victim to any form of violence or persecution on that particular section 8 housing unit.
  • If a family wants to move from where it began receiving benefits to a different jurisdiction HUD has portability procedures for such case. It necessitates the family must properly end their existing lease. The receiving housing agency (where the family wants to move) must accept the family into its program. If a family was already receiving benefits, the new housing agency does not recertify income and program eligibility until the original voucher expires. If the family received a voucher but did not yet find a unit, the original housing agency will check to see if the household qualifies for assistance at the new location.
  1. In case a Section 8 resident chooses not to renew his/her lease, there is a process he or she has to follow to inform the house owner in advance to give the landlord time to find a new tenant. Here is the list of mandatory steps a Section 8 tenant has to take before vacating a particular accommodation:

Advance Notice Period for Moving out

Under the law governing landlord-tenant affairs, a house owner has the right to be given written notice before a tenant decides to leave. The period of this advance notice depends on the term of the lease singed earlier and also on the particular state law. Generally, it corresponds to the term of the lease i.e. longer the lease term, longer the notice period.

  • When a tenant on a yearly lease, decides to vacate a property at the end of the lease term he/ she has to give 30 days’ notice before the terms end with some states requiring a longer period for the notice.
  • The same 30 days period is required to furnish the notice for a month to month agreement between the landlord and the tenant.
  • In case there is a week to week rental agreement there is 7 days’ notice required.

But it is always advised to check the state laws governing tenancy related matters including termination clauses in the original lease signed between both the parties.

The notice needs to be formal and in written form, better to be mailed through a certified courier service or handed over in person with having a receiving, very much the same way as the monthly rent is paid.

Contents In the Notice

The formal moving out notice by the tenant should also give the following details;

  • Date when the Notice is written
  • Landlord’s Name with complete address of the rented property
  • Explaining the desire to move Out with exact date
  • The demand to return the security deposit
  • Address where the security deposit can be sent
  • Your Signature

Landlord’s Rights

Right to shoe his property: – The law also gives certain rights to the owner of the property including access to the particular property before a tenant moves out but after the owner receives the notice. The landlord can show his/her housing unit to a new potential tenant. The landlord is also required to give notice for this exercise at least 24 hours in advance with certain states requiring 48 hours for visiting the space hired by a tenant.

Inspection: – Tenants have to compulsorily return the rented property in the same state it was in when they moved into it. States like Arizona and California, give a right to the owner to carry out walk-through inspections even before a tenant moves out to make whether any damage is done to their unit. The damage is considered breakage etc. additional to normal wear and tear. In case of any such damage identified by the owner, the deductions could be made from the security deposit or the tenant can be asked to get those issues fixed before moving out.




A checklist can help ease the stress of the tenant move-out to the owner. Property owners can modify this checklist to meet the specific needs of their unit.

A checklist is a form that owners better attach with the lease agreement while signing it. Normally it contains directions for the tenants on the steps and the tasks they need to complete when they vacate a property. This set of instructions can vary from landlord to landlord as some people are very specific while others go by general terms.

The move-out checklists are central when it comes to the return of the security deposit. Anywhere Security deposit disputes are a big issue between landlords and tenants normally indulge into. If the tenant recognizes the proper process for move-out, it will help diminish these issues. Following these directives, and sticking to the terms of their lease agreement, will help guarantee the tenant receives their full security amount. Here is a set of instructions for a smooth hustle-free tenant’s move-out;

  • Planning inspection 3-5 days before move-out
  • The apartment must be broom swept clean, mopped, and vacuumed, painted as before tenancy began (Unless resident was given permission)
  • Tenants should remove all of their possessions and belongings.
  • No trash shall be left behind with no garbage at the curb
  • Exterior lawn and landscaping shall be in a presentable condition
  • No removal of kitchen appliances, window treatments, phone jacks, and other fixtures, etc.
  • The keys shall be returned at the inspection
  • To check whether electric, plumbing and heating/ cooling system is working properly
  • All smoke alarm(s) and carbon monoxide alarm(s) shall be working properly
  • Leave ALL utilities on until your move-out inspection has completed
  • The tenant should make the landlord aware of any damage or issues inside the rental unit


Failure to Give Advance Move Out Notice



If a tenant does not intimate the landlord about his/her move-out plan, it can be charged with rent for the complete term of the agreement. For example, if someone has a month to month lease and gives his landlord notice 15 days before the date he wants to move out, there is a probability that he will have to pay rent for the entire month.



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