Maybe you’ve just graduated from college, bought a house, or just want to move to a new area. Regardless of why you are looking to move out, you want to end your tenancy in peace with your landlord, should you need a reference down the line. In addition, leaving your apartment or condo dirty can be a deal breaker for getting your full deposit paid back.
Moving out? Here’s how to leave your apartment in good condition.
A thorough house cleanup is one of the most underrated tasks when moving out. Always clean from the ceiling and work your way down to the windows, walls, floor, baseboards and carpet. The best time to clean is when you’ve removed all the furniture and boxes, which makes it easier to identify any dirty areas. Here are some particular spring cleaning tips.
Here’s a simple move-out cleaning checklist that you will find useful:
Let’s agree, this list of cleaning tasks is not a one-day job, and might be overwhelming if you are moving out fast at the last minute. As a result, you might want to hire a cleaning service, because this is the same thing the property manager will do. The only difference is they will charge you more for it. You can secure more of your deposit by hiring the service yourself.
For you to get your full deposit back, you must undo the damages you caused in the apartment. For example, if you drilled any holes for wall mounts, you will need to fill them with paste. As for large holes, you can get a mesh repair patch at the hardware and use it with spackle.
Additionally, check to confirm if all fixtures, plugs and light bulbs are working as they should in the fixture and fitting foam. Another common damage is bent, cracked, and broken window blinds. If you can’t straighten them, replace them with the same color and size at your hardware store.
Be sure to check any damage to the floor. Apartments with hardwood floors tend to be more prone to scratches than carpet. Fortunately, the walnut method can help to fix shallow scrapes on the hardwood. The technique involves rubbing raw walnut over the scrape to try and blend it into the rest of the floor.
If you have deeper scratches, a wood-colored marker at your hardware store is enough to disguise the scrapes.
The cost of dirtiness and minor damages can take a huge chunk of your security deposit. While some wear and tear should be deducted from the deposit, fixing the damage will certainly cost you less if you do it yourself before moving out. But apart from salvaging your deposit, you’ll stay on good terms with the property manager or landlord.
One last tip: Be sure to take a picture when you are done with cleaning and fixing to avoid the “she said, he said” stories. You can even go ahead and drop a photograph inside the closets and drawers to show you left everything clean and empty. If there are stains you think are normal, be sure to speak to the management about them.