Don’t make the mistake in assuming that you will automatically get your deposit back when leaving your apartment. Before moving into an apartment take “before” pictures to keep of how it looked when you first moved in. Do the same when you leave. It will be a good reference point to have. Be sure that it is move-in ready with no problems that you might be blamed for. Include the following items or things to do:
Holes from walls – If you have holes in your walls from hanging pictures be sure to use putty and a little paint to repair them. Landlords want the apartment to be left in good shape before renting it to another tenant. The less they have to do in prepping it the better.
Clean out closets completely – Be sure to remove all your clothing from closets and storage area. If you don’t want them, donate to a local charity if they are still in good shape. It is not the landlord’s responsibility to figure out what to do with them.
Clean appliances – Although they may not be in pristine condition they should be thoroughly cleaned for the next person who will occupy the apartment.
Trash and debris – Get rid of all trash and debris from the premises. Aside from being a sanitary issue, it could cause a problem with rodents and roaches being attracted to the garbage.
Floor care – If you have carpet be sure to vacuum it thoroughly. If you have hardwood floors sweep well.
Issues related to landlord – If you have problem with things such as broken pipes and plumbing, contact the landlord immediately. No need in paying for something that is the landlord’s responsibility.
Paint – Some landlords will allow tenants to paint their walls when they move in with the stipulation that they paint them back to its original color before you leave.
Notification – Let the landlord know well in advance when you plan on leaving. Breaking your lease will almost guarantee that you won’t get your deposit back.
While it might take a little elbow grease on your part, it will be worth the effort when you get that deposit back.