The following cleaning tips can help you get more of your rent security deposit back, because let’s be real, rent is expensive enough without losing out on your deposit too. For the most part, the laws are there to protect landlords over renters, but there are some protections in place for renters as well.
For instance, it is illegal in 47 states for a landlord to keep a security deposit without explanation. Yet, U.S. News & World Report states that “More than a third of the renters surveyed who did not get back their deposits (36%) said the landlord gave no explanation—which is actually illegal in 47 states. Unless you live in Louisiana, North Carolina or West Virginia, your landlord is required by law to give you a written account of charges to your security deposit.”
The following cleaning tips are essential to getting back more of your security deposit.
#1. Read over your rental agreement and rental inspection checklist.
Carefully read your rental agreement at the time you move in and move out. That way you know exactly what you are responsible for cleaning/fixing to get back all (or most) of your deposit.
Make sure to document any damages or issues when you move in, and present documented proof of your claims to the landlord. Renters typically receive a rental inspection checklist used to make note of any damages during move-in and move-out inspections. Your best bet is to go on both walkthroughs with the landlord to help protect you against charges and fees for preexisting damages, stains, etc. Additionally, take pictures of the place before you move out so that you have documented proof of how you left the place.
#2. Use the move-out cleaning checklist to your advantage.
Ask your landlord for a copy of the move-out cleaning checklist a couple weeks before you are scheduled to move. This gives you plenty of time to get everything on the list checked off and ready to go.
#3. Get everything fixed before you move out.
Your landlord can charge you for broken things if you do not have them fixed before you move out. While you are living at a place, the landlord should fix broken sinks, scuffs in walls, clogged drains and so forth without question or leaving a bill behind. Once you move out, you’re no longer awarded with the same tenant privileges. It can save a lot of money to get everything fixed in the unit before giving notice that you’re moving out.
#4. Hire a move-out cleaning service.
To ensure your old place is clean enough to secure the portion of your deposit reserved for cleaning, it needs to be move-in ready for the next tenant. That means you leave nothing behind and clean everything so that it’s like you were never there. Easier said than done, right? Especially in the hectic madness that envelopes move out day. In between packing boxes, prepping your new place and scheduling movers, it’s more than a little difficult to find time to clean. Luckily, a professional cleaning service can make your place cleaner than ever before without any extra time or effort on your behalf.
When you hire Signature Maids to clean your rental, you can rest assured the place will sparkle from top to bottom. Some of the most important areas we focus on for move out cleaning include:
-Bathrooms–toilets, counters, sinks, floors, etc.
-The kitchen–appliances, countertops, sinks, floors, etc.
-Bedrooms—everything from dusting ceiling fans to vacuuming and/or mopping floors, and cleaning windows
-Dust every inch of surface space, from the corner baseboards to crown moldings
+So much more!
#5. Fix your pet’s mistakes even if you paid a non-refundable pet deposit.
With proper reasoning and proof, your landlord can bill you for additional money on top of your deposit, and pet mishaps are one of the most common ways this happens. Your pet deposit and security deposit are two different things. While pet deposits are often non-refundable, your landlord can still charge additional money for damages not covered by the pet deposit. That means if your pet damages the apartment in some way, the landlord can take additional money out of your security deposit to cover damages.
So, if Fido chewed a hole in the bathroom door last spring, or your cat ripped up the carpet in your closet, make the small changes necessary or else risk getting charged double what it costs to fix.