So, your lease is coming to an end and you begin to prepare to move out of your rental. In order to get a full security deposit refund, do you know what needs to be done? What are your responsibilities as a tenant and what goes past “normal” wear and tear? Lets take a look.
Tenant responsibilities are:
- Give your landlord a 30 day written notice that you will not be renewing your lease.
- Replace any broken blinds/doors.
- Have your carpets professionally cleaned, if you have pets, ask the cleaning company for pet odor/stain removal.
- Vacuum and mop all hard surfaced floors.
- Clean all of the appliances inside and out.
- Do a deep clean of the whole unit, including, but not limited ceiling fans and windows.
- Replace any burned out light bulbs and change air filters.
- Do not leave any trash or personal belongings behind, inside or out.
Normal wear and tear:
Normal wear and tear can be tricky to define. As a result, most tenant/landlord conflicts when it comes to return of security deposit are over what is a result of living in a home versus neglect of the home. Here is a basic description that we use to determine if the financial responsibility falls to the tenant or landlord.
Carpets: Small stains are normal. If there are large stains or majority of the carpet is stained, pet stains, any tears or rips will be up to the tenant to fix.
Hard surface floors: We understand that scuff marks and light scratches happen. However, deep scratches, missing flooring, broken pieces, or stains, will be tenant responsibility.
Walls: Light scuff marks and minimal nail holes are normal wear and tear. But, if the walls or molding have been scratched, chewed, drawn on, have large holes, or significant damage, will fall to the tenant to pay for.
If you are ever unsure of what your responsibilities are, call your landlord or management company and schedule a pre-move out walk through. We are happy to help and do not want to keep your deposit if we do not have to. The easier and smoother a turn over goes, the faster we can get your money back to you, which is the ultimate goal. Communication is key to any relationship, but especially in a tenant/landlord relationship.