You paid all of that money to secure your apartment; how do you make sure you get it all back when it’s time to move out?
Renters have to deal with move-out inspections to get their deposit money back. Landlords and apartment management companies are notoriously strict. Even regular wear and tear is something they may try to dock you for, so you need to be on your toes.
If you want to pass your move-out inspection with flying colors, you’ll need to do some research on what common issues are and how to remedy them before management walks through your place.
The good news is that, for the most part, passing your move-out inspection isn’t all that difficult. With the right amount of time for preparation, you can do what it takes to pass easily and get all of your hard-earned money back.
Here are 11 tips you can use to make sure you’re ready come inspection time.
1. Clean Your Carpets
Carpets get a lot of attention when it’s time for a move-out inspection. Landlords and property managers will try to ding you on dirty carpets or stains because they know they are hard to get out and they often have to hire a third-party to clean them.
Also, new tenants want to see fluffy, clean carpets when they tour apartments. This all means there is often a bit of a tussle over who is going to pay for cleaning.
You can preempt any of this by cleaning your carpets yourself, and, no, you don’t have to hire a professional carpet cleaning company to get them clean.
Most local grocery stores and home improvement stores will rent you an industrial carpet cleaner that’s easier to use than you’d think. Watch a few YouTube videos and you’ll be set. All you need to pay for is the rental fee and a bottle or two of the cleaning solution, depending on how big your place is.
Cleaning takes a few hours, but the machine will do wonders for your carpets. It’s a much better solution than hoping you’ll pass and, if not, spending hundreds of dollars to pay for your landlord’s carpet cleaning service.
2. Make the Fridge Spotless
Refrigerators are another high-focus area for people doing move-out inspections. Kitchens, in general, receive a lot of attention during inspections because they are such a draw for potential new tenants.
They also don’t hide dirt very well. That juice spill or small, dried-up herb leaves sitting in the bottom of a drawer in your fridge stand out.
Cleaning your fridge and scrubbing other parts of your kitchen will take elbow grease and a few hours on a weekend. Depending on how much you care about getting your full deposit back, it may be worth paying for a cleaning service to come through and do the job for you.
3. Seal Up Wall Holes
If you’ve lived in your house or apartment for a while, odds are you’ve hung a few pictures, and maybe knocked a few holes in the drywall. It’s perfectly normal to have some dings and dents around your place.
Repairing them is easy, though. You can buy some spackle or wall putty (the material has several different names) to seal them up. You’ll also need to purchase some sandpaper and a mask.
Layers the spackle over any holes or dents to get as smooth a surface as possible. Let it dry overnight or for several hours before you sand down the hole so it’s even with the rest of the wall.
The mask will spare you from inhaling small dust particles.
4. Clear Out Any Trash
A big mistake a lot of tenants make is thinking they can simply leave behind anything that they don’t want.
A lot of people leave things like old clothes, food, and trash behind in their apartment for their landlords to deal with. That’s going to increase the chances that you’ll fail your move-out inspection, and it could end up costing you.
Your landlord isn’t going to remove junk for free, so you should do it before the inspection.
Having a cleaner apartment with less stuff will also help you pass. There will be less clutter and it will be easier for you and whoever is inspecting to move around your place.
5. Think About Renting a Storage Unit
If you have a lot of stuff and you’re worried about how it will impact your move-out inspection, you should check out local storage facilities to see about stowing things in a unit to help with the move. This accomplishes two things:
You reduce the stress of moving.
People often struggle with tight timelines and move-out dates from the property manager. With a storage unit, you can plan better and don’t have to worry so much in the weeks and days leading up to your move.
A lot of storage facilities are close to apartment complexes, etc., and you’ll probably be able to find a good deal on a unit close to home.
Less stuff makes inspections easier.
Apartments and homes with less stuff inside of them give the impression of being cleaner. They also make getting the inspection done faster more realistic.
There are fewer obstacles to move around and your landlord won’t be wondering what’s behind all of those coats in the closet because they can see clearly. There will be fewer grey areas where you could potentially get dinged.
6. Wash the Walls
It’s almost inevitable that your walls will have some type of grime or smudges on them after years of living in an apartment or some other type of rental.
Washing walls is easier now than ever with modern cleaning tools. You can buy things like Magic Erasers from your grocery stores that make washing painted walls quick and effective.
Give them a thorough once-over and then follow up the next day on any spots you may have missed. Your walls will look brighter and improve the overall look and feel of your rental.
If you can make your walls look good enough to convince your inspector that they won’t have to repaint your unit, then you’re much more likely to pass your move-out inspection with flying colors.
7. Clean the Stove and Hood Filter
Grease that builds up in your stove, oven, and the hood filter is extremely tough to clean, and if you want to pass your move-out inspection, you’ll probably need to spend some time getting your kitchen appliances back in decent shape.
Go to your local home improvement store to buy some cleaning materials that are a bit stronger than the stuff you get at a grocery store. Spray them down with a bunch of the stuff and let it sit for an hour or so before you start wiping them down.
When your move-out inspector sees that you’ve gone to the effort of cleaning your hood filter, they’ll be more likely to take it easier on you in other parts of the apartment or house.
When you’re going through your move-out inspection, be quick to highlight all the work you’ve done to keep the apartment in great shape. Don’t run to the spots you’re worried about and draw attention to them.
Remember, you’re selling your apartment, basically, and you want to put things in a positive light. Talk to your inspector about all the work you’ve done and show off all the best areas first to swing the odds in your favor.
Moving to your first place in the South San Jose area? We’d love to help you with the perfect storage solution to make your first big move a success! Contact Snell Mini Storage to reserve your storage unit today!