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Moving Out

We’re sorry to see you go! But we do recognize job locations change, certain life situations occur and you may need to relocate. This section answers some typical questions regarding moving out of a property managed by Columbia Property Management so that you can better plan your move.

If you live with housemates, you will need to find a suitable replacement for your share before you can be released from the lease. See the information below on Roommate Changes for more details on our policies.

Roommate Changes »

The legal and physical logistics for leaving a roommate situation are different than when a household moves out. For example, you cannot be removed from the lease with a simple notice to vacate. The household lease continues indefinitely even at the end of the term, so this Roommate Change policy regulates changes of individual occupants. Notify us as soon as you know you wish to move

Subletting is never permitted without prior written approval. Occupants in the rental who are not on the lease and who pay any compensation for their stay is subletting. This is especially true with temporary situations including AirBnB or similar arrangements including coach surfing

It is expected that you will clean your room and make it move-in ready for your replacement. This includes any minor repair items or touch-ups; basically, making the room like you would want to move into. We will do an inspection to ensure it is ready and if necessary, conduct the needed maintenance and deduct the cost from your security deposit

You will need to find a replacement for your share. Cooperate with your roommate(s) so that they can decide if any room changes will happen, so you are advertising the correct space. They also should approve a candidate before submission of a rental application to CPM

Make sure you put in the ad the $350 administration fee that will be charged when they replace you and any moving fees required by the association if you live in a condo or coop building. Also, that Management expects them to commit to a minimum stay of twelve months. This is reinforced by a penalty charge for early departure if your lease contains this provision in the lease addendum (see below).

Once you have identified a replacement, have them navigate to the following webpage which contains the information on applying. www.ColumbiaPM.com/apply . CPM will notify you when they have been approved. It is a good idea to have multiple candidates in case your first choice does not work out

NOTE: A new roommate should never be given keys or permitted to place any personal items in the home before they are approved by Management. This is for your safety. Once we’ve approved the replacement occupant, we will work together with you for transitioning keys, monies, and for getting the appropriate documents signed in a prompt manner

The switch to the new occupant will take place on a specific date by way of an “Addendum to the Lease” or a new lease document with the other roommate(s). The incoming occupant will provide their share of the security deposit in advance to Management which will be the same amount that was provided by the resident who is moving out

In cases where the switch does not occur on the first of the month and creates a situation of pro-rated rent, the departing occupant will pay the rent for entire month on the first and will be reimbursed by the incoming resident for the amount of that pro-rata rent

Early Departure Penalty

It is expected that every incoming occupant resides in the house for a minimum of twelve months from the date of their move-in. This is not related to the dates in the actual lease document, which is between the household and the owner. Should an individual want to vacate before their individual twelve months has passed, they will be responsible to pay a penalty, the amount of which is based on the total duration of their occupancy as outlined below:

  • Less than 6 months, penalty is equivalent to one full month’s share of rent
  • Between 6 and 12 months, the fee will be prorated monthly, 1/6 of the rent share for each month under 12 months. For example, if departure is at the end of month 10, then the penalty is 2/6 of one full month’s rent share.

Subletting is not permitted without prior written approval. Occupants in the rental who are not on the lease and who pay any compensation for their stay constitutes subletting and must be approved, especially temporary situations.

We do not permit – under any circumstances – sub-letting the unit to another party. This includes temporary or short-term rentals. Be up-front with us regarding moving and do not permit others to reside in the rental. We will work with you to find a solution. Contact your property manager for more information regarding the terms of breaking your lease.

If you know or find someone who would like to move into your entire rental (not individual rooms) we are happy to pay you a $500 finder’s fee if they sign a lease with us.

Providing Notice to Management

Formal notice as defined in the lease requires first class mail. However, we prefer you to call our office at 888-857-6594, ext. 2 to provide your notice and follow up with an email to your property manager. If you only send an email to provide notice, it will not be considered official until you have received a personal reply from the property manager assigned to your rental.

First, check your lease. In the District of Columbia if the initial term has expired without signing a new lease, you are on a month to month arrangement. Each party is required to provide a 30- day notice to the end of the next rental period. That means that at least one full rental period must pass until your lease obligation would end. For example if you provide notice on April 10th, your notice will be for the last day of May.

If you are nearing the end of your lease term, you should provide notice to Management based on the terms of your lease. Typically this is 60 days. Note that you may need to provide two full rental periods of notice. If you live with housemates, please consider finding replacements for the shares rather than forcing all people to move out. Often this is not as big a burden as it may appear to be and will ensure the current residents can remain in the rental.


As per the terms of the lease Management is permitted to market and schedule tours of the rental during the notice period. We will always schedule times with you in advance whether on a by appointment basis or as part of a regular schedule of showing time slots. It is your duty per the lease agreement to provide ample opportunity for interested parties to see the rental.

If you are moving at the end of your lease, Columbia Property Management offers a special incentive to you for helping us to obtain a signed lease before your move-out date. Your assistance in preparing for showings by keeping the rental tidy, providing interesting tips about the building or area, or recommending your favorite spots in the neighborhood all help to make the rental more appealing to prospects. If we have a new tenant ready to move in when you depart we will give you a gift card to help you with your moving expenses.


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Washington DC Property Management Experts

Our local experience is your advantage in all aspects of the Washington DC residential rental real estate market.

Our in-depth knowledge of the details of the Washington DC market and submarkets, from tenant pool to price points and quality vendors ensures that you get the highest quality management for your rental investment.


If you’d like to learn more about our properties and what it’s like to work with Columbia Property Management, get in touch. We’d be happy to talk more about our rental properties, our application requirements, and our leasing process.

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Columbia Property Management

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 92488, Washington, DC 20090

Main Office:
1140 3rd Street NE, Floor 2,  Washington, DC 20002
(888) 857-6594

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