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Archive for Monday, July 26, 2010

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Moving out? Get your full deposit back

July 26, 2010

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Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, when moveout time comes, the best-case scenario is a clean property and a fully refunded security deposit.

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, when moveout time comes, the best-case scenario is a clean property and a fully refunded security deposit.

If you are moving out of a rental property, follow these simple steps to get your full security deposit back.

Step 1: Haul away all trash and debris from both inside and outside the house. Do not leave anything behind as a “favor” to the next tenant.

Step 2: Mow the yard, weed the gardens, sweep and clean all outdoor living areas, including porches, steps and sidewalks.

Step 3: Empty out all cupboards, drawers and closets. Use a damp cloth to wipe them down inside and out. Take all hangers or supplies with you.

Step 4: Remove everything, including ice, from the refrigerator and freezer. Clean both inside and out with warm soapy water. Dust the top and clean behind it, too. Once it is clean, leave the refrigerator running to keep it fresh inside.

Step 5: Clean the oven inside and out, including the sides. Clean the stove top and replace the drip pans beneath each burner.

Step 6: Clean all other appliances inside and out. Change the filter on the furnace and make sure the air conditioner is free of dust. Wipe register vents down with a damp cloth.

Step 7: Remove and clean all light fixture covers. Replace any burnt out light bulbs. Dust fan blades.

Step 8: Clean outlet covers and switch plates. Replace any that are missing or broken.

Step 9: Remove nails and hooks from walls. Patch any holes with spackling paste. Sand and paint, if necessary.

Step 10: Clean all walls and baseboards. Magic Eraser cleaning pads work miracles on scuff marks and finger prints. Antibacterial wipes work wonders on baseboards and trim.

Step 11: Dust mini blinds. Replace broken or missing window coverings.

Step 12: Clean doors and windows. Replace broken glass or torn screens.

Step 13: Clean toilets, including the outside and base of the toilet bowl.

Step 14: Clean your tub or shower with a solution of TSP to remove soap scum build up. Use a Clorox bleach pen to eliminate mildew stains along grout lines. Remove or replace the shower curtain. Wipe down cabinet drawers and cupboards.

Step 15: Sweep the floors, mop, vacuum and rent a carpet cleaner to shampoo the carpets.

Now take a deep breath and relax — if you did everything correctly, you should be seeing dollar signs in place of the dirt and dust you saw before.

Comments

LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

Anyone else out there have a bad experience this year? Don't mean you just vaccumed and wiped the counters down, I mean you really cleaned and left it in the same or better condition.

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LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

Charged $40 for adding a chainlock that was there when she moved in.

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LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

Well Linda, don't tell people to use Magic Eraser on walls cause landlord said they had to paint the entire apartment because we used Magic eraser on scuff marks. Of course, if Northwind didn't use the cheapest paint out there, you could wipe off the walls.

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somedude20 3 years, 8 months ago

should have read: Landlords in this town have more criminal in them....

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somedude20 3 years, 8 months ago

Landlords in this town have criminal in them than did Mrs. Gotti, Mrs. Capone and Mrs. Madoff all put together

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somedude20 3 years, 8 months ago

Face it folks, landlords in this town (have rented in 5 different states) are like the banks in that they make a killing (and count on) that revenue (banks have overdraft fees and LL have the security deposit) I know that my landlord takes most of the SD offering third rate excuses as to what you were charge for. I have had friends move out of the building I live in and have seen first hand the "professional" cleaners come on in (and they are the landlords family). They say that they take out a said amount of money to professionally clean but when that consists of two teens and their grandmother cleaning with no professional supplies (or skills) I find that to be BS. The walls were not painted before I moved in and after living there for 3 years guess who will be paying for that when I move out (hint, not the LL) I guess that if you believe that you will not be getting anything back, then you might as well earn it, that is what I will do! Oh, and it takes an act of god to get her to fix anything

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workinghard 3 years, 8 months ago

Wow, it is evident that I need to get a lot tougher on my tenants. Definitely need to think about making them mow the grass. There was one management place that charged my son almost his whole deposit for an outside underground water leak. He had a set water rate since the water bill was for three units. They recalculated how much he paid as opposed to what the bill actually had been. Now evidently this water leak had been there for a while. When I said how could they charge him for water for a leak that was outside on the other side of the yard and was not visible. They said he should have known by the increased water bill. Just one problem, he never saw the water bills since it went to the management. Although, that is why I prefer to include the water in my rent, so I get the bills and can see immediately if there is a problem.

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helloannie 3 years, 8 months ago

Let me add Mallard Properties to a place that is not so great to rent from and as someone who will hold on to your deposit for dear life.

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 8 months ago

Splash a little Lysol every here and there ... it sure smells clean!

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KansasPerson 3 years, 8 months ago

Great list! Some of these things, of course, are things that (I would hope) a tenant would be doing regularly anyway.... for instance, if move-out day is the first time you've cleaned your toilet, then you might have bigger problems that getting your security deposit back. :) But seriously, if you do most of these things right along as part of your housecleaning.... dust the blinds, clean the fridge, wipe down the cupboards, and yes, we even change the furnace filter -- why would we not?? -- then move-out day will be MUCH less of a headache for you.

Best of luck to all who are moving in the next week!

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K_Verses_The_World 3 years, 8 months ago

Dear landlord Please don’t put a price on my soul My burden is heavy My dreams are beyond control

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

For the many slumlords around town, keeping all or most of the deposit, and even billing over that amount for cleaning or repairing "damages" is a major part of their business plans.

As has already been stated, the best protection for tenants, in addition to taking good care of the property while you're there, is to make sure the initial walk-through is as thorough and well-documented as possible.

And if the landlord fails to do one with you, unless they have good evidence showing that you caused damage to the property, they are pretty much SOL in keeping your deposit-- go to small claims court if they try to.

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jhawks1234 3 years, 8 months ago

Unless you live at a First Management property! They will take your deposit and give you a bill as a moving out present. I bought new drip pans and they still tried to charge me for them. They also tried to charge me for a door to be replaced because it had a hole in it (which was there when I moved in and was noted on the move-in inspection) They make you pay for a carpet cleaning crew then still charge you for wear in the carpet. Anyone who lives at any First Management apartments or any similar apartment complex, keep all your receipts and when you do your move-in inspection you need to be as brutally detailed and mark every little thing you notice in the apartment. They will try to screw you one way or another!

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jstthefacts 3 years, 8 months ago

woah! who wrote that list. You don't have to leave your apartment better than it was when you moved in. Getting a deposit back starts with a very good move in check list signed by both parties. You can't over do this. The more info the better off you will be. Take lots of pictures and don't photoshop them. Especially get pictures of damage, large or small that you might get blamed for. Be smart when you sign leases and don't agree to things that are unreasonable or that heavily favor the landlord leaving you vulnerable.

Landlords assume a substantial risk in relinquishing their property to strangers so make sure you take care of the property and adhere to the lease. This should assure you of putting yourself in a good position to have your deposit returned. Some landlords will try to keep your deposit and if you think its done unfairly, it is up to you to pursue the matter. There are penalties assesed in the form of dollars to unscrupulous landlords whom wrongfully withhold your deposits. If you have trashed the place and not followed your lease your vulnerable to lose your deposit and possibly more.

Go on line (or to a library) and become familiar with the Land Lord Tennant Act. Here is a good place to start.

http://www.hud.gov/local/ks/renting/tenantrights.cfm

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pagan_idolator 3 years, 8 months ago

I never did understand the nail hole thing. Are people not allowed to decorate the houses they live in? Nail holes are not hard to fix.

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grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

Wow! I wonder if my landlord will see this?We had to do all this and more before we moved in.Then we had to install smoke detectors (which I thought was the law, and should have been done by the landlord) and put down snake repellent around the house.Now, everytime it rains, the carpet in the living room gets wet around the doorway (Backyard floods)and along the back wall. We're moving this weekend and the landlord wants us out by five because the new tenants can only get a truck for a few hours Saturday night. Sorry new folks, I'm leaving it better than I found it, but you will need to buy your own smoke detectors.

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LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

My daughter's lease specified that they are to make no nail holes and will be charged a certain amount for each one. They will be charged if they do make one and try to fill it in. Every mark on the paint will be charged for and they are forbidden to try to paint over them. They were not happy when we recorded every nail hole, scratch, and mark on the wall.

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imastinker 3 years, 8 months ago

These are great advice. The trick is to think like the person moving in. If they are going to be grossed out by the condition you leave the place, the landlord will have to do cleaning to it themselves. You will pay for this.

As a responsible tenant, you should have a copy of the move in inspection and pictures of the condition when you moved in. It should be in the same condition. The landlord will expect to do minor touch up painting, but not much more. You might even offer to help with this and make the job easier. Call them and ask if they can drop off some paint for you to do touch ups and ask them if they see anything while they are there that needs to be cleaned. You'll be done with the paint in half an hour and you know what they are looking for. They will be appreciative becuase you are helping them.

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Kontum1972 3 years, 8 months ago

do not leave your seeds in the dresser drawers....and don't leave your pets behind like gerbils, tarantulas, snakes and albino monkeys.

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timetospeakup 3 years, 8 months ago

Hope your apartment isn't managed by Gage Management - if it is, you won't get your full deposit back anyway.

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LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

"Change the filter on the furnace and make sure the air conditioner is free of dust" Seriously, you have to be kidding, this is maintenance and the landlord's responsibility.

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LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

"Haul away all trash and debris from both inside and outside the house. " Why when the city will do it for free?

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LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

If the kitchen has linolium, is it wise to move the refridgerator and risk tearing it? Was it pulled out when you moved in so you could see if it was clean in the first place?

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