Moving out? Apartment cleaning should go at the top of your to-do list. As excited as you are about your new apartment, you can’t just walk away from your old one. There are some responsibilities you have as a renter when moving out, and those responsibilities involve cleaning. Read the rest of this entry »
‘security deposit’ Tag
We’ve all heard the term “wear and tear” when it comes to the typical nicks and scratches even the most careful apartment renter causes. But what separates normal “wear and tear” from damages you’re expected to pay for out of your security deposit? (Or, worse yet, in addition to your security deposit?) And how can you address what you consider unfair bills from your landlord when you’re moving out?
Maybe your dog just couldn’t hold it any longer, or there’s a remnant of that green beer from St. Patrick’s Day decorating your living room carpet. Or, perhaps a splash of red wine escaped from your glass. Sound familiar? We’ll walk you through how to get stains out of carpet, since visible stains could prevent you from getting your full security deposit refund when you move out of your apartment. These carpet cleaning tips and tricks will help you get your carpet into great shape again—and get you that full security deposit back. Read the rest of this entry »
We all know the joy of paying a security deposit for an apartment; and if you don’t, well, we’re jealous. But a deposit, as annoying as it is, will get refunded to you at the end of your lease! If you treat the place right. Let’s face it though: who wants that? You’re probably rolling in money, laughing at the fact that you would even want your security deposit back. If that’s the case, here are some great ways to never get that cash back. Oh, to be young and wild and free! Read the rest of this entry »
When you’re moving out of an apartment, it’s essential to know what constitutes “normal wear and tear” to most apartment owners. If you want to get your security deposit back, you’ll need to make sure your apartment is as close to as it used to be as you can possibly manage. Sure, small scratches are okay here and there, but how far does that leeway extend? Here are some tips on how to make sure your apartment is ready for move-out.
1. Clean Your Carpets
If you’re about to move apartments, you’ve got some maintenance issues on your mind. Specifically, you really, really want that security deposit back that you forked over when you first moved in. While there are plenty of precautions you can take and ways you can clean to get that deposit back, we also suggest you get creative with the resources you already have on hand… like toothpaste.
“What?” we hear you say. “How can toothpaste help me get back my $700 security deposit?” Stick with us. Here are 5 ways you can get your security deposit back with just a little minty ingenuity.
1. Spackle the holes in your walls.
If you’re out of spackling but need to cover up unsightly holes in your apartment’s walls from all those hanging picture frames, don’t fret. Toothpaste actually makes great temporary spackling. (Just be sure to avoid anything colorful or striped.)
2. Get rid of carpet stains.
Oh no!, you thought when you spilled red wine on your carpet last month. This will never come out. I’m doomed! Hardly, dear renter. It easier to remove wet stains, but the ingredients in toothpaste can help remove set in stains. Apply a small amount of white non-gel, non-whitening toothpaste directly to the sullied spot on your apartment’s carpet, scrub gently with a bristled brush, and rinse thoroughly with water immediately.
3. Scrub your bathroom grout.
Shower and tile grout can get pretty grimy if you don’t attend to it regularly. If you’ve let your apartment’s bathrooms get grubby, give the grout a good scrub with some whitening toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly.
4. Remove scuffmarks and crayon marks from painted walls.
Whether you’ve got budding little artists or you’re just a little clumsy, everyone scuffs up their apartment’s walls now and again. Remove those marks by taking a damp cloth with non-whitening toothpaste on it and rubbing gently at the offending area. Voila, beautiful walls and no damage.
5. Make a good impression on your apartment’s landlord.
Nothing says “I’m a charming devil worthy of a security deposit refund” quite like minty fresh breath and a dazzling smile. Before you invite your apartment’s management rep over for your final walk-through inspection, brush your pearly whites.
Have you ever gotten creative with cleaning your apartment? What did you do to make sure you got your security deposit back? Share your tips with us by finding ApartmentSearch on Twitter and Facebook!
If the time has come for you to move out of your apartment, you’re probably busy packing and finding a new place to live. But don’t forget to take the right steps to get your security deposit back! Your moving checklist should include a solid plan to clean and repair your apartment so you can get your security deposit returned in full.
First things first: What will your landlord expect of you when it comes to cleaning and repairing your apartment? Consult your lease and figure out what is required of you in order to get your security deposit back, then construct your cleaning and moving checklist accordingly. For example, your apartment may clean your carpets and floors for you upon move-out, but might expect you to paint over any colors you’ve added to the apartment walls on your own. If you aren’t sure what is expected of you, call your landlord and confirm what you need to do to get that security deposit back.
Next, go through the apartment room by room and create a comprehensive cleaning and moving checklist. Below is a moving checklist to help you get started, but be sure to think about the special needs of your apartment as well. And remember, when it comes time for your landlord to inspect your apartment, request to be present during the inspection. That way you’ll be able to address any problems and make adjustments as needed.
- Dust all surfaces thoroughly.
- Vacuum every room.
- Clean all windows thoroughly with a streak-free cleaner.
- Mop the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Remove all wall décor and fill in any holes made by nails or screws.
- Make sure all doors and windows shut smoothly and securely.
- Clean the bathtub and shower.
- Clean and disinfect the sink and bathroom counter.
- Clean grout using bleach or vinegar.
- Clean out bathroom drawers, cabinets, and medicine cabinet.
- Remove any drawer liners.
- Clean the mirror.
- Clean out all appliances, including the oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave.
- Sweep and vacuum behind all appliances.
- Clean the fronts and insides of cabinets.
- Clean and disinfect all countertops.
- Sweep all outside areas, including the porch, garage, and doorways.
- Mow the lawn.
- Pull any weeds.
- Remove any yard décor.
- Wash the windows’ exteriors.
For More Moving Tips…
For another useful moving checklist, check out the ApartmentSearchcom Apartment Moving Center. Do you have a tip for get your security deposit back that’s not on this moving checklist? Share your own tips with ApartmentSearch.com on Twitter and Facebook!
Security Deposits Come In New Flavors
The security deposit landscape is changing. No longer do you have to hand over a huge stack of bills once you find an apartment and sign a lease. There’s a new player in town: the surety bond. Instead of having to float the security deposit on your new place when you find an apartment and pay the new security deposit at the same time, a surety bond cuts the size of that move-in cost by 80-90 percent.
Of course, such a powerful tool has its drawbacks. First, the entire amount of the surety bond is a cost, not a security deposit. You never get it back. Second, unlike security deposits, surety bonds only cover you for a fixed period, usually five years. Lastly, you’re still on the hook for any damage when you move out of the new apartment.
Still, for many folks who believe in good apartment maintenance, surety bonds can make the difference between being free to find an apartment that’s new, and being stuck in one.
How Surety Bonds Replace Security Deposits
With surety bonds, the fee goes to the bond company, not to the apartment manager. That company guarantees that the apartment management will be compensated for the amount of the deposit even if you cause a lot of damage and skip town. (Of course, we really don’t encourage that kind of behavior – especially since the surety bond company will destroy your credit and search for you to make sure you hold up your end of the security deposit/surety bond promise!)
In the case that you do violate apartment etiquette with some damage, you pay the surety bond company because they are the ones who have guaranteed the quality of your apartment tenancy. They then pay the landlord for the damage.
Where to Find an Apartment That Takes Surety Bond Apartments
These bonds are too new to be widespread, but their popularity is growing. To find an apartment near you that takes surety bonds, try searching at SureDeposit, one of the biggest bond companies.
Other Security Deposit Techniques
If surety bonds don’t sound like a winner to you, but you still choke at the cost of a move once you find an apartment, consider some other security deposit ideas when you do find an apartment.
- Borrow money from family or friends. You only need the money for about a month – time enough to get your security deposit back from your old place.
- Take out a personal loan from your bank. Again, you only need it for a month.
- Ask your boss for an advance on your paycheck.
- Ask your new apartment managers if they’ll put the security deposit on your credit card.
- Move all your purchases to your credit card and save up money in your bank account that way. Then use the extra cash to pay the security deposit. And don’t forget to pay off the credit card when you get your old security deposit back!
Security Deposit Tips: It’s Your Money
Getting your security deposit back from your apartment complex is an important part of moving out. Getting the security deposit back is never 100% guaranteed, but there are ways to prevent problems from arising with your security deposit refund.
Laws differ somewhat from state to state, but basically, a landlord has the right to keep your apartment security deposit to pay for damages to the apartment. Apartment managers really don’t want to keep your security deposit, they’d much rather have an apartment that has been well taken care of. By following the following apartment security deposit tips, you’ll keep everyone happy.
Security Deposit Tips: Request a Walk-Through Inspection
Most apartment complexes set up move-in inspections automatically, but if not, request it. Try to schedule it for the day they give you the key, so that you’re both in agreement about the condition of the apartment before you went in. Note and point out any damages, and ask the management representative to sign a note describing them. This will help secure the return of your apartment security deposit, especially if there’s a change in management or ownership.
Security Deposit Tips: Take Photos or Videos
If there should be any disagreement about the security deposit later, photos or videos of the condition of the apartment will help settle matters. Take a walk-through video, carefully filming doors, doorways, carpets, all windows and glass, walls, and the ceiling. It might seem extreme, but it won’t cost you much if you already own a video camera, and you’ll sure be glad you did it if there is a security deposit disagreement. Even a cellphone video is better than nothing. Photos, though, are better than grainy video if you want to get your apartment security deposit back.
Security Deposit Tips: Take Care of Your Apartment
Take good care of the place. When hanging pictures or decorating your apartment, try to do no or minimal damage to the walls. Don’t violate the lease by painting or changing any of the structure without written permission. If you live in apartments that take pets, and you have a pet, make sure to clean up any messes promptly, and prevent any destructive activity on your pet’s part.
If something does happen, don’t wait. Unless it’s an emergency, inform the management office the next time they’re open. Apologize and accept responsibility if you or one of your guests is at fault. You’ll probably have to pay the cost of the repairs, but at least you can ask for the receipt and reach an agreement.
Security Deposit Tips: Schedule a Walk-Through Inspection Before You Leave
Schedule a move-out inspection after you move your stuff out if possible. A lot of damage is done by moving furniture and large items out of the apartment. By walking through with the management rep after the stuff is out, you can both make sure that the movers didn’t cause damage and thus agree on the full return of your apartment security deposit.
If the management representative agrees that everything is OK, ask them to sign a note saying you’ll get your security deposit back. A written document is one of the best guarantees of the return of your apartment security deposit.
Security Deposit Tips: Discuss any Problems Before You Go
If something is not OK, discuss with your apartment manager how much that damage will cost your apartment security deposit before you leave. If they don’t know, ask them to send you a receipt for the repairs along with the apartment security deposit refund check. Right after the walk-through, hand in your keys and any electronic gate opener you might have.
Finally, make sure to leave your new address and phone number so they know where to return your apartment security deposit. If you need help with your move, take a look at our Moving Center. Good luck!