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Many people rent until they are able to afford a mortgage and then move into their own home. Others may choose to vacate in order to downsize—or upsize if they’re planning on starting a family. If you’re transitioning from a rental into a new space, here are some tips and tricks to make sure the process is a breeze.

Review your lease agreement. You may not have glanced at it in some time, but if you’re planning on moving on, it’s as good a time as any to bring out your old lease agreement and take a look. You’ll find crucial information about how to legally and respectfully end a lease. Moving out notices will be listed in the agreement, along with maintenance obligations and utility transfers.

Give your landlord a heads up. Ideally, you will be able to offer your landlord notice well in advance, so he or she has time to find a new tenant. Each province has rules for how much notice is legally required. Occasionally, an unexpected dilemma arises and you are forced to leave your rental property quickly. If you’ll be vacating before your lease is up, you’ll need to provide the reason—and ask your landlord if you can sublet the property to a new tenant who is capable of paying the remainder of the lease.

Inspect the property. Want to use your landlord as a reference on a future application? The last thing you want to do is leave the premises in disarray. Inspect the entire property with a fine-toothed comb and ensure it is in the best condition possible. Some normal wear and tear is to be expected, but if there is a broken lightbulb, a hole in the wall or a collection of beer bottles gathering dust behind the fridge, be respectful and do your part to repair these small things.

Sell everything you no longer need. Moving has a way of turning the biggest pack rats into minimalists. If you find yourself sorting through items and wondering why you’re still hanging onto them, take the opportunity to say goodbye to them. Donate old clothes, accessories and outdated appliances to Goodwill.

Do a deep clean. It’s just common courtesy to give the property a thorough cleaning before leaving. Your landlord will appreciate the extra effort, as will the new tenants moving in after you. Your lease agreement might specify the type of cleaning expected of you, but even if it doesn’t, you should do your best to ensure the property is as close to spotless as you can get it.

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