What’s Considered Normal Apartment “Wear and Tear”?

ApartmentSearch_VacuumingWhen 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

It can be tricky to assess how much carpet damage is too much. In general, some small stains and marks are acceptable, especially near doors and entryways. These small marks are to be expected, but if they get excessive, or if you have large dark stains from food spills or pet accidents, then you have a problem. You’ll need to get your carpets shampooed thoroughly before move-out, which is a relatively easy and inexpensive process.

2. Seal Any and All Holes

If you have any large holes in the drywall of your apartment it will be a clear sign to any apartment owner that they aren’t required to return your deposit back. Small holes made from hanging up posters or picture frames are usually fine, but anything larger than a quarter can be a problem. You’ll need to fix the drywall yourself or hire a professional, though it should be known that fixing drywall is actually a simpler task than it may seem. A quick trip to the hardware store should provide you with all the necessities.

3. Fix Any Broken Hardware

An often overlooked aspect of moving out is the hardware around your apartment. Hardware includes light switch covers, door knobs, drawer handles, and door stops. Any door knobs or drawer handles that are loose or broken will be clear indicators to your apartment owner that you haven’t left your residence in the best condition. They don’t need to be in mint condition, but they should definitely be clean and in working order upon move-out.

4. Clean Clean Clean

The last and most important factor to keep in mind is the cleanliness of your apartment. All walls throughout the house should be scrubbed clean, including the shower tiles and bathtub walls. Floors and baseboards should also be scrubbed. Light fixtures, doors, and every square inch should be thoroughly sanitized. Any large scuff marks on hard floors or walls can be removed with enough elbow grease and household cleaner. Essentially, anything you think can be cleaned should be cleaned.


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