How to Make Sure you get your Full Rent Deposit Returned

December 31, 2015

When moving out from the apartment you’ve been renting, it’s easy to assume that the deposit you placed in your landlord’s hands way back when will be returned to you. But this is not always the case. The following article contains a few tips to help ensure you get your deposit back.

Kitchens are a busy place, and as such, can get a little messy. Make sure your counters are crumb-less, sinks and taps are cleaned, the inside and outside of your fridge has been cleaned, and remember not to leave food in your fridge on moving day. The inside of the stove should be cleaned, and if the paper manual is not available to you as to how to go about this (some ovens are self-clean, some aren’t), most manuals can be downloaded online if you have the stove model number. Wipe down the inside and outside of all cupboards, and finish with a sweep and mop.

The bathroom is a prime spot for grime, and no one will inspect it more closely than a landlord wanting to keep your deposit. Ensure you’ve swept and mopped, that the toilet is flushed and clean, toilet paper roll is full, and the sink, vanity and mirror are sparkling. The grout in between tile can be a difficult spot to keep clean, so make sure you spend some extra time there. Don’t forget to empty bathroom cupboards and give them a wipe out.

Clean all the windows in the apartment by using a commercial cleaner or, for a greener option, use water and white vinegar in a ratio of 1:1. Mix in a squirt bottle and those windows will shine. If your apartment has a patio door, don’t forget to clean it as well. The track can be tricky to get clean; a toothbrush and q-tips with some baking soda and water should get the job done.

All the garbage and green bin/ recycling bins in the apartment need to be emptied and fresh bags inserted. No landlord wants to walk in to his empty apartment and be greeted by the smell of rotting garbage and green bin waste-yuck!

Ensure the light bulbs in each room are working. Make sure you’re replacing spent bulbs with an appropriate wattage bulb.

If you’ve put holes in your walls, even tiny nail holes, patch them up with your landlord’s permission, and apply a fresh coat of paint after sanding. Your landlord may even agree to pay you extra for this, provided you’ve got their permission to patch and paint.

If you own pets, make sure you have picked up every last piece of pet waste. Nothing will make your deposit disappear faster than your landlord stepping in a big pile of you-know-what. While you’re at it, make sure there is no litter around the yard from passers-by, and the grass is mowed and gardens watered. Dead plants or an overgrown lawn do not make a favourable impression.

For a nice finishing touch, head to the supermarket and grab a small bouquet of flowers. Pop them in a dollar store vase, and voila: instant ambience on a minimal budget.

On a final note, if you’re moving to a new apartment, take pictures of the state of the rooms when you first move in. This way, if there is ever a disagreement between you and your landlord as to whether you deserve your deposit back, you will have proof that you are leaving the apartment in the same state that you found it.

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