Asking for your deposit back
You to your landlord: I’ve just purchased my dream home through Pahrump Valley Properties and I’ll be moving out at the end of my lease. I’d like my deposit back, please…
As steep as move-in prices can be, asking the person who is about to become your old landlord to return your deposit is a fair request. On the flip side of the coin, your old landlord – or more accurately, the person who is about to become your old landlord – has every right to withhold some or all of the deposit if the domicile that you are vacating is in poor shape*.
What to do?
Clean! To make the job as easy as possible, invest in quality cleaning supplies; both solvents and scrubbers. Cheap solvents won’t do the job properly and unless the place is already shiny-clean, your old landlord will just have to hire a cleaning crew to come back in and clean it again. At the end of the day, the effort that you put in, and the money you spent on cheap chemicals will all have been for naught.
Moving out is a big deal because it usually means you are also moving in someplace else. There is a lot to do, and sometimes things can slip. So while the answer to the next question might be obvious, it is worth breaking down.
What should I clean when moving out?
In general, if there is anything laying around as you are cleaning, be sure to throw It away. Do not leave anything behind. These include things that you don’t feel like moving out with, and things that you may not necessarily think to throw away as garbage.
It might be one of the smallest areas in the apartment, but it will be one of the dirtiest. Food crumbs build up around the stove. Dust bunnies accumulate under the refrigerator. The inside of microwaves and ovens can become absolutely disgusting over time.
One of the first things to do when doing a whole-house clean (always clean from the ceiling down to the floor) is to knock off all the dust on ceiling fan blades. Dust accumulates on vertical walls, and invisible cobwebs form where walls meet ceiling. Knock all that dust down as well by using a dry mop. Be gentle, but do essentially the same thing to the windows. Windex will be a strong friend once the dust is cleared. Once all the dust has settled (to the floor), suck it up with a good vacuum so you don’t end up redistributing it.
At the tail end of the clean, most people will run a rental carpet cleaner over the carpeting. If done well, it’s one of those afternoon investments that could pay dividends.
As with the kitchen, the bathroom(s) usually require a bit more time to clean. Again, keep in mind that good cleaning agents are key to making this most tedious of jobs just a little more bearable. Be sure to clean the entire toilet, including all those hard to reach curvy things underneath it. Be sure the tub, shower, and shower door are free of hard-water buildup. Empty, dust, and clean all cupboards, drawers, and medicine cabinets.
Repairing broken items
For the most part, your apartment shouldn’t require any major repairs. Little things like filling in (spackling) nail holes is an easy task for any renter. If fresh paint is necessary, be sure to color match properly! (Contact your landlord; they may have an extra quart that you can use.)
Expecting your deposit is perfectly natural, but remember, just as your (old)/landlord has responsibilities, so too do you. Increase the chances of receiving your full deposit as a return-on-investment for the clean apartment that you’ve left behind.
* The Before & After condition of an apartment is subjective in nature.