For years in a row, you have appreciated the warmth and comfort of your Californian rental property. However, at this point, you feel that the house or apartment that you’re currently renting is no longer a good match for your lifestyle, ambitions and future goals. So what’s next? You choose to find out on your own, by moving out of the apartment that you have been occupying for so long. Life goes on. Goodbyes are always hard, but this doesn’t mean that they should also burn holes in your pockets.
Recover Your Tenancy Deposit in 7 Easy Steps
In this context, your number one goal is to maintain a cordial relationship with your landlord (because we all know that great referrals never hurt, and may actually help you impress other landlords and get the keys to other awesome apartments in the future).
At the same time, you would very much like to get the deposit back, and make the most of a significant amount of cash that you kind of consider “found money.” Both goals are achievable, but they do imply a little bit of work. As you can probably imagine, in order to convince your landlord to give you your tenancy deposit back, you have to prep the property for a thorough inspection. The good news is that you can simplify the entire process by following the seven easy steps described below.
- Clean and De-clutter Like a Pro. First of all, start the cleaning process by gathering all your belongings. Now would be a good time to separate the things that you’re planning on using and depositing inside your new apartment, from the ones that you could donate, toss or leave in storage. Make sure all rooms are clean and tidy; and pack your personal belongings and put them in labeled cardboard boxes, to avoid confusion and potential losses before, after or during your big move. Clean the carpets, polish the floors, dust the furniture and do your best to restore the apartment to its original condition, which hopefully you have documented before moving in.
- Invest Time and Energy in a Paint Job. A paint job is one of the simplest and most cost-effective improvements that you could invest in with your landlord’s permission. Believe it or not, one coat of fresh paint could bring an entire room back to life, making it seem larger, brighter and tidier at the same time. Opt for professional services ensured by an experienced painter, and you’ll also manage to find a good solution to small cracks, scratches, holes and other marks on your walls.
- Erase All the Sings of Your Presence inside the House. While you probably shouldn’t worry about normal signs of wear and tear displayed by the furniture, décor elements and appliances that your rental apartment features, you should try to address minor damages that lower the practical or aesthetic value of the property that you’re still occupying. For instance, now would be the perfect time to take your colorful artwork down and patch those ugly holes that your nails and screws have left on the walls. Use spackling paste and remember to sand every single spot to make it easier for your landlord to repaint the walls and recreate a uniform surface.
- Gather All the Keys. To avoid any potential safety risks and cut all ties with your rental property, don’t forget to round-up all the keys, including the spare one that you have decided to give to your friend or neighbor who comes to feed your cat and water the plants every single time you have to go on a trip.
- Clean the Fridge and the Oven. Even if you have already managed to vacuum the carpets, dust the furniture and clean the floor, this doesn’t mean that your job is done. Target the less visible corners of your rental apartment and clean and sanitize areas where you often tend to neglect, including your kitchen cabinets, fridge and oven. These areas may still store leftovers and crumbs, which could attract small animals or insects, leading to a potential pest contamination.
- Plan the Details of Your Upcoming Walk-Through. If you think that your landlord will just give you your money back without inspecting his apartment, you may be in for a big surprise. In most cases, landlords and property managers will do the exact opposite: they will explore even the most hidden corners, looking for potential signs of damage.
You can prevent misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises by scheduling a walk-through, which will give you the opportunity to show your property manager or landlord that you have already taken care of all the cleaning and small adjustments required before your big move, and make certain that you will get your deposit check as soon as possible.
- Look for an Even Better Rental Matching All Your Needs and Budget. At the end of the day, you should strive to leave the rented apartment just as you found it, get your deposit back and carry on with your life. In case you may feel the need to start looking for an even cheaper, more spacious or more comfortable for rent property in the state of California, use the tools and insight offered by Apartment Hunterz to conduct an effective and affordable house hunt.
Why waste any time driving around several neighborhoods and tracking down for rent signs, when you can start a cheaper and more convenient apartment search online? Analyze thousands of listings daily, save and compare all your favorites, contact landlords using the smart iConnect feature, upload and download forms with a few clicks, and schedule in-person meetings to tour and rent one of the most appealing apartments or houses for rent in your price range.