So, it is time to move out, the big question for most tenants? What can I do to get the most of my deposit?
- Check your new tenant packet for move out instructions.
More likely than not you were given a list of instructions on what to do when its time to move out. Now is the time to read thru those instructions carefully. If you can’t find instructions check your lease, does it tell you what is expected on move out? Can you rent a carpet cleaner and clean the carpets yourself or does it have to be done professionally? Do you turn in keys to the property manager or leave them in the property? In most cases, you can find the answers to these questions in one of these 2 documents, if you can’t, call your property manager ask them what is expected.
- Do everything on the checklist
This may sound obvious but take an extra day and go thru every single item on the checklist. You may not normally clean the blinds when you clean but if it is listed on that checklist you should pay extra attention. Did you wipe down the baseboards or just sweep them with a broom. Did you gather up all the garage remotes and place them on the kitchen counter? Don’t be afraid to compare it to any notes you have on your move in, but also realize that just because you marked that the kitchen counter was dirty doesn’t mean you were exempt from cleaning it the year you lived there. If it is on the list this is something you will be held accountable for.
Don’t be afraid to move the Fridge out of its place and sweep and mop behind it. Think outside the box. Most move out inspectors will pull the vent off the bottom of the fridge and look under it. One property we had looked great until we started opening doors and looking underneath things. You can see in the picture not only something that needs cleaned but proof they had a pet.
- Remember not everyone’s clean is the same.
You are aiming for the highest level of clean. Don’t leave any doubt read thru your checklist multiple times and make sure it is all perfectly done.
Here are some things we see more often than not.
- Light bulbs burned out or missing
- Fridge not cleaned (top and bottom outside and behind the drawers inside)
- The outside of the toilet around the bowl and the floor around it
- Dusty blinds
- Bugs and dirt in the window sills and tracks
- Base boards not washed
- Fans not wiped down (ceiling fans along with bathroom fans)
These may seem like small things, but if we have to pay someone to do them they add up for instance: If there is a vanity bulb burned out, we have to pay a maintenance man to go to the property figure out what bulb it is. Drive to the hardware store find the bulb and drive back to the property to install it. We are then buying the bulb paying gas and time. Another example: Refrigerator drawers were not wiped out underneath. We have to hire a cleaning crew; most cleaners have a 4-hour minimum that they bill for, they will find and clean everything they can in those 4 hours. But if you did everything but the last few things and they only clean for half an hour you are still paying 4 hours’ worth of time.