Your relationship with your landlord essentially ends the moment you hand in your keys, but the shape you leave the apartment in can help to determine if and how much of your security deposit you get back. Here are some helpful hints to follow when you move to ensure your old apartment looks great for the next people who move in and to help you get your security deposit back.
Hire a Full-Service Local Moving Company
Some moving companies offer cleaning as part of their menu of services. This can be a great help on moving day, as you won't have to spend your day scrubbing both the old apartment and your new home. The cleaners should wipe down all surfaces, including counters, walls, and floors, and they should remove trash, dust, and vacuum. You may also have them wash the walls or even clean the carpets.
Repair Any Damage
Whether you have hung a lot of artwork and left nail holes in the wall or had a dog chew on the drywall, it's important to fix as much of the damage to the apartment as possible. Typically, landlords will account for wear and tear when determining if you get your deposit back, but they may deduct money for damage that looks like it might have been purposeful. Your local moving company may even offer small repair services as an add-on to your moving contract. They may be able to patch nail holes in drywall, do touch-up painting, or replace a damaged door.
Get All Your Keys Back
Did you hire a dog walker or house sitter? Does a best friend have keys to your home? Getting all the copies of your keys is important, as it lowers the chance of someone you know trying to use the apartment after you move out, which can cause some serious headaches for your landlord.
Hopefully, you took pictures of the apartment before you moved in. Having before and after photos can help to show just how careful you were with the apartment. However, even if you don't have "before" pictures, you should still take photos of the apartment once it is empty. They serve as your proof that you cleaned and repaired the apartment, leaving it in good shape. Should your landlord try to keep your security deposit, you'll have evidence you could present in a court of law.
It's tempting to walk away from your old apartment and never look back, but you'll need to do a little bit of work to get your security deposit back. Remember, leaving your relationship with your old landlord can be a great thing; he or she can always be a reference for future home searches. Don't forget to ask a local moving company such as Modern Movers, Inc. about any services they offer that can help you to get your old apartment ready for your landlord.