Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Although it may not, on the surface, appear to be advice on how to be a good tenant, you'll see how moving out respectfully really is part of being a good tenant.
Give proper advance notice to your landlord about your intentions to vacate the property, according to the terms of your lease or rental agreement, as the landlord’s positive referral will be valuable in securing housing in the future.
How you leave the unit impacts that referral.
When you are ready to leave, walk through the unit with the landlord to check for damages or repairs that may be needed in order to have your security deposit returned. Have a copy of the agreement you and the landlord signed listing pre-existing damages when you toured the apartment before you moved in and, if you took pictures when you moved in, have them available now.
To ensure the return of your security deposit, repair any damages incurred by you to the landlord's satisfaction.
If you made significant modifications to the unit while you lived there you may be required by the landlord, and by the law, to return the unit to its original state at your expense. If you painted a wall purple, you need to paint it white again. If you installed a serious modification such as a roll-in shower, you may need to replace the original fixtures at your own expense.
Under the ADA, your landlord has the right to require this restoration. Make sure when you leave that the unit is “broom clean” – that is all personal items and trash are removed and the unit is swept out of dirt, appliances, cabinets and fixtures wiped clean of grime.