Interestingly enough, actually occupying a residential rental property is usually not one of the lease requirements. To paraphrase The Eagles...."They can check-out any time they want, but they can never leave" (their lease until the termination)
This is usually the RUDE AWAKENING when residents purchase their "dream home" during an unexpired lease term....YES, they can leave their rented property and move into their new home, and YES, they need to keep the utilities on in their name, maintain the yard as the lease requires, maintain their renter's insurance and periodically check the property for leaks, etc.
Likewise, when they re-locate during the term of their lease, they are still required to maintain the property, utilities and are responsible for anything that happens at the property while no one is living there so renter's insurance is a MUST.
The practical procedure is for the residents to keep the utilities on and have their bills/mail forwarded to them, to maintain their renter's insurance, and hire a professional yard service to maintain the yard.....OR, they can hire the PROPERTY MANAGER who is attempting to re-rent the property on their behalf to maintain the yard, make sure the grass is cut AND pay the bills when they are presented. A little more time consuming for the property manager so there should be compensation. This service is over and above the service paid for by the owner's mgmt fee and property managers should have a % fee on these bills in their lease OR charge by the hour on a quarter hour basis. I charge $160 per hour and bill in 15 min increments. Once this is explained to residents, they realize that their relocation is more costly than just paying their rent while the property is vacant.
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM * GIBSON MANAGEMENT GROUP, Ltd.
"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous