Depending on how long you’ve lived inside your apartment — whether it’s one of many boardwalk condominiums or a gorgeous spot inside a building of enviable waterfront apartments — you no doubt paid a security deposit when you first moved in. In all likelihood, you probably signed an agreement stipulating that you’d get this money back if the place is in as good of shape when you move out as it was when you moved in. Of course, that discretion is always left to the landlord or the homeowners’ association, which can often put you at a disadvantage.
But there’s hope. No matter if you’re in a building of brand-new condominiums or just a simple one-bedroom place inside the city, you deserve your security deposit back. That’s why we’ve compiled this quick yet thorough checklist of things you can do in order to make sure that’s what happens. So, what are you waiting for? Put on some gloves, pick up a bottle of Clorox and see if you can…
Clean the kitchen — all of it
Don’t just toss out all the old containers of takeout food inside the refrigerator; remove everything, then scrub the shelves. Don’t just give the oven a good once-over with a cloth and soapy water; buy some cans of oven cleaner and get to work. Don’t just remove all the cereal boxes from the cupboards; vacuum up all the crumbs and scrub the insides to get rid of ants. Don’t neglect the sink, either; polish the faucet and buy limestone remover to make it look as good as new.
Remember every detail, even the smallest ones
Did you nail some screws into the wall to hold up a small shelf? Buy some putty and cover the holes up. Climb a ladder (or stand on a sturdy chair) and dust off the ceiling fan, light fixtures and the top of door frames. Are your doorknobs loose and worn-looking from months (or years) of regular grip? Grab a screwdriver and tighten them up, then polish. For a prospective buyer, or a picky landlord, no detail is too small. And the better the place looks to the new tenant, the more it’ll feel like home for him or her.
Fix up the windows, blinds and exteriors, too
Streaky windows aren’t the best housewarming gift, and neither or broken or chipped blinds (or ones that don’t go down or up altogether). Let Windex be your best friend for the glass, and for the blinds, see what you can fix up yourself. If you can’t, be sure to let the landlord or property manager know immediately, so it can be handled with plenty of time to spare. Especially if you’re moving out in the summer months, chances are the new tenants are going to want nice windows as soon as possible.
You looked at plenty of luxury apartments to rent but settled on this one. Why? Most likely because it was clean. The best way to keep it clean for the next tenant(s) is simply to repeat the process. For more information on getting your security deposit back for apartments and condominiums, always talk with your landlord or your condo’s HOA.