Moving home can be an exciting milestone in your life. However, before you start packing for your relocation, it is important that you make sure you will be leaving your old rental place in good condition. Why is that? This is to make sure you’ve done everything in your power to get your rental deposit back. Landlords and rental agencies are notorious sticklers that charge for every carpet stain and pet scratch they find on their inspection, so implement these tips to whip your place into top form:
1) Leave no corner unclean.
Clean your apartment as you never have before, making sure to use heavy duty cleaners on your showers and sinks to eradicate soap scum, and a hydrogen peroxide/water solution to get the gunk out of your grout. Dust all the cobwebs from the corners and ceilings, and clean all glass surfaces so that they’re free of finger prints. If it looks like it needs some extra scrubbing, it probably does!
2) Remove all staples and nails from the doors and walls.
This may seem like a banal thing, but landlords are notorious for charging for even small holes left in the doors and walls of the apartment. Remove any staples or nails you used to mount shelves, pictures, or artwork. Then, use a magic eraser to smooth over the scruff marks left behind.
3) Take pictures and do a walk-through with your landlord.
When all your furniture and personal belongings have been loaded into your car or moving fan, do a walkthrough to take pictures of the apartment exactly the way you left it. If possible, it is highly recommended that you get your landlord to accompany you to inspect the apartment and sign off on the fact that you left it in fair condition.
4) Get an itemised list of damages and dispute unfair charges.
If your landlord doesn’t return your full security deposit, ask to see an itemised list that justifies the money that was withheld. If you disagree with the charges, respectfully write down your complaints in the form of letters or emails and send them to your landlord. In the event that you cannot come to an agreement with your landlord, you can use the emails and the photos you’ve taken as evidence when making a claim.
5) Review your lease and your rental checklist carefully.
Whenever you first moved in to your place, you should have received a lease agreement and room-by-room checklist of the contents and conditions of your accommodations. Dig these back out and read over them carefully when you are trying to settle disputes with your landlord. Double check to see what types of problems already existed at the time you moved in and what was expected of you before you turned in your keys. Were you responsible for cleaning the place with steam cleaners or was it covered in your non-refundable cleaning deposit? Were there any furniture or appliances that you needed to leave in the apartment? The lease and rental checklist is a good reference for resolving disputes—whether that be directly with your landlord or later on in court.
About the Author
Christine works as an estate agent and knows how complicated leaving rented property can be.