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SJA | Property Management

Move Out Checklist

Our goal is to make your move out and the return of your deposit as smooth as it can be.

Please take a moment to review these detailed instructions.  Failure to comply with these instructions may result in deductions to your security deposit, and possibly additional charges in excess of that amount.  Please contact our office with any questions.

SJA Property Management Move-out Acknowledgement & Instructions

When vacating the property you must submit your intent to vacate using the Notice to Vacate form on your “Tenant Portal” 20 days prior to the end of your lease.  Please be sure to provide our office with your forwarding address so we can process and mail your security deposit refund.

Security Deposit dispositions are sent out within 30-days (or 21-days if stated in your lease) from the date you move-out, provided you have vacated the property.  Please allow adequate time for mail delivery. Thank you for being an SJA tenant and we wish you the best of luck with your move.

Deposit Return

We love to refund tenants their full deposits! That is a win-win for everyone.  However, in order for us to do that you must fulfill the terms of the lease and follow these move out instructions. The amount you receive back is really up to you. We will be very happy to make no deductions for repairs or cleaning.

Remember that there is an administrative charge for every vendor we need to hire and an inspection fee for us to go to the property and check their work.  As mentioned, we will process your deposit within 30-days (or 21-days if stated in your lease) from when you vacate the property and the lease is terminated.  We will then send the disposition and check to the forwarding address you provided.

Keys and Forwarding Address

All house keys, mail box keys, garage remotes, parking passes, entry fobs, etc, to the property, need to be dropped off at the office before 5:00 PM on the last day of your lease term.  If your lease date ends on a weekend, you either need to drop items off earlier in the week during office hours or mail them to our office.  All items should be placed in a padded envelope with your name, property address and your new forwarding address.

Returning keys constitutes vacating the property and allows us to begin processing your security deposit.  If you fail to return your keys you will be considered a “holdover tenant” and in violation of your lease agreement and will incur costly penalties.   

Transferring Utilities

Please contact your utility providers to do a final meter reading as of your last day of tenancy and make sure when you vacate all outstanding balances are paid in full.  SJA Property Management processes water & sewer bills internally and any final balance due will be deducted from your security deposit.

Please leave all utilities in your name through the end of your lease term, regardless of whether you move out sooner.  The cancellation date should be the last day of your lease term unless you receive approval from us to cancel earlier.  Power should be transferred out of your name not disconnected.

Tenant Portal and Stopping Rent Payments

If you have your tenant portal on AUTOPAY, please be sure to deactivate your payment.  SJA does not have access to your portal.  The tenant portal is set up to SEND money.  SJA does not bill your account. If you do not deactivate your payment on time, your bank will send a payment even if there are no charges to your account.

In the event this happens, SJA will refund your money via paper check within 10 days.  We are not able to stop a payment or transfer funds back into your account.


We will conduct the final move out inspection once you have completely moved out and have returned all the keys to the property.  We will compare the Move-In Inspection you completed, to the current condition of the property.  Please have the property in rent-ready condition by the end of your lease date as you will not be able to re-enter the property after that date.  Inspections are not performed with the resident.

Marketing Process

If the owner of your property is choosing to re-rent, there will be a sign and lockbox placed on the property, per the lease agreement.  We will begin advertising the property as soon as we receive a notice and we will start conducting showings one month before your lease ends.  By Washington State law you will be given at least 24hrs notice before each showing.  Anything you can do to keep the property in show condition will increase the chances of us renting sooner and us no longer needing to show.  If you have a pet, please place them in a kennel or remove them if they may interfere with the showing.  Per your lease, we may charge a $100 trip charge for each showing declined by the tenant after the notice was given.

Painting, Picture Hanger Holes – Do not spackle

Please do not fill small holes in your walls with spackle or try to do touch up the paint.  Often times this makes the situation worse and requires us to fully repaint the walls (at tenant expense).  Tiny holes are normally considered wear and tear.  If you have caused excessive wear and tear on the walls and they need to be painted or touched up please contact us and we can help you through that process.


If you have caused any damage to the property that needs repair please have that addressed before move out (broken blinds, screens, door handles, trim, cabinets, towel racks, etc.)  If there are repairs needed that you cannot get completed or that you do not believe were caused by you, please inform us of them in writing.  This way there will be no surprises or miscommunications.

Cleaning Checklist

Careful attention and meticulous cleaning of the following items will ensure the prompt return of your deposit.

If you are considering hiring a professional cleaner, you should provide the cleaner with our checklist to ensure nothing gets missed. Please keep in mind that if you hire a professional cleaner and they do not clean the unit to SJA standards we will need to send in one of our vendors to clean what was missed. If you would prefer to have us clean the property with one of our vendors and deduct this charge from your security deposit, please let us know ahead of time. Please do not leave the property unclean. Dirt is not considered ordinary wear and tear under Washington State law, under any circumstances.

Per SJA’s lease agreement, the tenant will be charged an administrative oversite fee, in addition to the total cost of each invoice charged against the tenant’s security deposit, for repairs, cleaning, painting, etc. There will also be a $50.00 trip fee for re-inspections, meeting vendors at the property, etc. These costs are on top of the costs of repairs or cleaning. To avoid these costs, please hire vendors directly and have the work completed before the last day of your lease. Please let us know if you’d like a recommended cleaning service.


All carpet should be professionally cleaned and stains treated. If you have had a pet in the property you are required to have the carpets treated for pet stains and odors regardless of the carpet condition. As well as have the home professionally treated for fleas by a pest control company. This is important and if it is not done, SJA will have to resend a professional at your expense.

General Items

  • Replace all burned-out light bulbs (This will avoid a labor and bulb charge)
  • Repair damage caused to the property (e.g. torn screens, broken windows, clogged drains, etc.)
  • If you can’t get the repairs done before you leave, let us know so there are no surprises.
  • Absolutely no garbage is to be left at the property.  Do not leave a trash can full, or trash stacked on the curb.  Make arrangements to have trashed picked up before you discontinue service.  If you don’t, we will have to send a hauling company to remove it at your expense.
  • Remove all personal items from the property
  • Remove all marks from walls
  • Clean all blinds/window coverings/ceiling fans
  • Clean all window sills/tracks, baseboards, light fixtures, and fans
  • Clean all floors including under all appliances
  • Clean fireplace debris
  • Remove cobwebs from ceiling, windows, corners, behind doors and on chandeliers/light fixture


  • Wipe down walls, backsplashes, and cabinetry
  • Sweep and mop floor
  • Clean sink and drain
  • Clean outside and inside of the oven (replace drip pans if needed)
  • Clean stovetop, control panel, and dials
  • Clean microwave inside and out
  • Clean outside of the dishwasher
  • Wash all countertops
  • Clean outside and inside of refrigerator including freezer and top
  • Remove all racks, shelves, and drawers, and thoroughly clean all surfaces, then replace racks.
  • Clean all cupboards and drawers inside and out
  • Wash stove hood, remove and wash filter and light


  • Clean bathtub and/or shower including fixtures
  • Clean sink and faucet fixtures
  • Clean all tile and grout
  • Mirrors, medicine chest, cabinets, drawers should be cleaned and all items removed
  • Clean and sanitize the toilet
  • Wash or mop floor


  • Remove all items including hangers
  • Vacuum carpets, including edges or mop
  • Clean windows, sills/tracks, and blinds or window coverings


  • Remove all personal items
  • Sweep floor
  • Remove any auto fluid stains with appropriate cleaner


  • Weed appropriate planting areas and remove dead leaves and debris
  • Mow lawn and edge
  • Trim hedges and shrubs
  • Sweep walks, decks and patios
  • Remove all pet waste and repair related damage

Remove all personal items from sheds/outbuildings, if applicable.

  • Thank you for following these move out instructions and for being a tenant of SJA!  We wish you the best at your new property.