Are you finally moving out of that apartment you’ve called home for the past few years? It’s always exciting to move on and find a new place to call home.
But for renters, it’s easy to get so caught up in the new place you are moving to that you forget what you need to do to move out. There’s quite a bit to keep in mind when moving out of your old apartment if you want to ensure you get your deposit back and maintain a positive reputation.
And so that you don’t forget anything, we’ve put together this nifty apartment move-out checklist so nothing falls between the cracks. Follow this quick guide and you’ll soon be free to focus all your time on your new home or apartment.
Importance of using an Apartment Move-Out Checklist
When tenants move out of an apartment, it’s a big process for landlords. Their goal is to ensure the apartment is ready for a new tenant as soon as possible. Otherwise, they lose money, which they will avoid at all costs.
When you moved in, you probably left a security deposit. This might be as low as a few hundred dollars, or it might be an entire month’s rent.
You also signed a lease that you probably didn’t read through very carefully. In that lease, it probably says that if the apartment isn’t spotless after you leave, they are going to keep all or part of the security deposit.
Since that’s a lot of money, you want to make sure you get it all back. But if you aren’t organized during the move-out process, it’s easy to mess it up.
Forgetting to do just one thing can cost you hundreds of dollars. So if you want to get that money back so you can move into your new place confidently, then it’s important to follow this apartment rental move-out checklist.
The Ultimate Move-Out Checklist for an Apartment
It’s not just cleaning that needs to happen for a smooth move-out process. Here’s everything you’re going to need to do.
1. Notify Your Landlord
The first thing you need to do is notify your landlord that you will be moving out. Do this as early as possible.
In fact, your lease might specify a time frame in which notification must be received, which is often 30, 60, or 90 days before your move-out date.
It’s best to provide written notice or an email so that there’s a paper trail. That way, if they forget, the blame can’t fall on you.
2. Schedule Movers
If you have a lot to move, the easiest way to get your belongings to a new home or apartment is by hiring a moving company. This is especially important for those living in multi-story apartment buildings.
It would be easy to damage your apartment, the walls in the hallways, or the stairs by trying to move heavy furniture on your own. Don’t take the risk. Professional movers are insured and will be held responsible if they cause any damage to the property.
The sooner you schedule movers, the more money you can save. Trying to book movers last minute means that you will pay the highest price if you can even find a company with availability.
3. Update Your Address
It’s important to update your address a few weeks before you move into the new property. Usually, there’s a delay when updating an address, so preparing ahead of time will add a buffer zone.
Make sure you contact your utility company so that service at the new address will be available from day one.
4. Pack or Downsize
Start packing at least one month in advance. That way, you can do a little bit each day, never feeling totally overwhelmed.
The best way to make this process easy is to sell or donate as much stuff as possible. Go through your closets, dressers, and cabinets to find stuff you haven’t used in months. Sell it online or through local marketplaces to mean some extra cash for your move.
5. Follow this Apartment Move-Out Cleaning Checklist
Once your stuff is all packed up, it’s time to start deep cleaning. You need to make it look like you’ve never lived in the apartment to ensure you get your deposit back.
Make sure to remove art and pictures from the walls, patching any holes, and painting over the patches.
Dust all the walls, ceilings, ledges, windows, and anything else that collects dust. Wipe down anything with smudges, including doors, handles, walls, and so forth.
Give your shower or tub a good hard clean, removing any soap scum. Clean the drain out. Detail the toilets, sinks, and bathroom floors. Vacuum and wipe out all cabinets and drawers.
Do the same in the kitchen, cleaning the inside and outside of all applicants. Sweep and mop underneath everything. Vacuum the carpet and remove stains from the floor.
The biggest reason people lose out on their deposits is by not properly cleaning. For most people, it’s worth it to hire a move out cleaning service to ensure the cleanest apartment without having to spend an entire weekend doing it yourself.
6. Inspect; Apartment Move-Out Inspection Checklist
Once it’s clean, and before you drop your key off, it’s important to do one more thorough inspection of the apartment.
Check the ceilings and walls for dust, spider webs, and smudges. Check the windows, sills, and blinds for dust.
Examine all light fixtures and ceiling fans to ensure they’ve been wiped down. Inspect the bathrooms from ceiling to floor to ensure all mildew, soap scum, and other debris has been effectively cleaned out.
Check inside all cabinets and drawers to make sure there aren’t any dirt, dust, hair, or belongings left behind.
Make sure you have all of the keys to the apartment ready to hand to your landlord. Then, take photos of everything so you have a record of the final condition of the apartment.
Take one last look and head off to your new home.
Remember the Golden Rule
Hopefully, this apartment move-out checklist will help you stay organized through the chaos that comes with moving. The most important thing to remember is this; how would you want the apartment to look if you were about to move in for the first time.
From that perspective, you shouldn’t have any issues getting your deposit back.
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