When it’s time to move out from a rental unit, one of the top concerns you may have is getting your security deposit back. However, a tenant survey by Rent.com reveals that 26% of renters don’t get a refund on their security deposit, according to a report on Apartment Guide. Sadly, you may not get your deposit refunded after your landlord conducts a thorough move-out inspection. There are many benefits linked to move-out assessments, and the biggest one for tenants is receiving a full security deposit refund. Because of this, make sure to add move-out inspections when creating your checklist for organizing the entire move. To make the process stress-free for you and your landlord, check out the moving-out inspection checklist for tenants below.
Timing And Scheduling Move-Out Inspections
Move-out inspections usually occur at the end of a tenant’s lease and when the renter vacates the unit. However, the exact time will vary from state to state. In some states, landlords must conduct property inspections the day the tenant moves out or three days later. Carrying out move-out checks when a tenant has moved out allows the landlord to determine whether the property is in good condition or not because there are no moving boxes or furniture to hide potential issues. In other regions, landlords carry out inspections three or two weeks before the tenant vacates. That way, a tenant can make necessary repairs so they can receive a full security deposit refund. Nonetheless, you can schedule a move-out inspection with your landlord at least two weeks before moving out.
Clean And Sanitize All Surfaces
Once you’ve scheduled inspections with the property owner, invest time and energy cleaning hard surfaces in the home. As a general rule of thumb, clean floors and vacuum carpets in every room. It’s also advisable to fix tears and holes on the carpet, remove pet stains, and replace broken tiles. When it comes to the walls, make sure to remove cobwebs in the corners and ceilings, wipe switch plates, and wash the walls above vents and heaters. You’ll also want to wipe fan blades, remove nails on the walls and patch the holes, and repaint the walls.
Deep Clean The Kitchen
Deep cleaning the kitchen can be overwhelming, but it’s a critical step to take when planning to move out from your current home. The last thing you want is your landlord deducting money from your security deposit to cover the cost of cleaning and fixing the kitchen. So, make time to deep clean every part of the culinary space, from the cupboards to the countertops. Clean the kitchen appliances thoroughly, fix clogged drains, and wipe down overhead lights and exhaust fans to remove grease and dirt.
The space under the kitchen sink is one of the most overlooked areas in the home. However, it should be on top of your home maintenance routine to ensure it appears neat and smells fresh. Cleaning experts recommend emptying and cleaning the space before leaving the rental unit. Also, declutter, install lights, and fit organizers to make the area look appealing.
Scrub The Bathroom
The bathroom is another vital part of the home you need to clean before vacating the house. When inspecting bathrooms in rental units, landlords often look at the sink, shower, bathtub, and toilet. With this in mind, spend a considerable amount of time cleaning and sanitizing these areas Scrub the tile floors and wipe inside the cupboards and drawers. Most importantly, ensure the toilet and faucets are in good working condition.
Restore Property To Original Condition
In addition to cleaning hard surfaces, the kitchen, and the bathroom, you’ll want to conduct a thorough inspection of home appliances. Check if the fridge, built-in ovens, cookers, and other appliances in the rental unit are in good working condition. If not, make a point of repairing or replacing them. Additionally, inspect the plumbing, electricity, security, and heating systems to ensure they are still functional. You also have to replace light bulbs and broken furniture to ensure the entire house functions effectively after moving out.
Take Photos And Return Keys To Landlord
After cleaning and the entire house, remove and pack your belongings and take photos of the vacant unit. Make sure to share the images with your landlord and keep a copy for yourself. Doing so is a sure way of preventing disputes when the property owner inspects the house. You’ll also want to return the house keys to the landlord after the inspections. If by any chance, the property doesn’t appear as it was at the time you moved in, your landlord should inform you in writing.
Moving out to a new rental apartment can be exciting and, at the same time, challenging. Typically, before vacating your current house, you need to ensure it’s in good condition. Failure to do so will likely make your landlord refuse to refund your security deposit in full. Therefore, commit time and effort cleaning and sanitizing floors, walls, windows, cabinets, and ceilings. Also, deep clean the kitchen and bathroom, inspect appliances and repair any damages.
We hope you found this blog post on Moving Out Inspection Checklist for Tenants useful. If you are planning you next move, more suggestions can be found on this page: Most Common Moving Mistakes