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Moving Out of an Apartment? Get Your Cleaning Deposit Back

You may have heard horror stories from friends or relatives about how thoroughly they cleaned, but their apartment complex or landlord kept the cleaning deposit anyway. Unfortunately, some landlords can be unscrupulous or apartment managers can use any number of factors to justify keeping your deposit. In many areas, a cleaning deposit can equal the amount of one or two months’ rent – money that would be useful for the rent at your new place or making a new mortgage payment. The landlord isn’t always at fault, however. In many cases, a portion of the cleaning deposit will justifiably need to be withheld even if the tenant believes he or she had the place spotless before moving out. Your Raleigh movers are experienced with apartment moving, and know a few ways you can receive your deposit back:

Clean Top to Bottom

Of course, cleaning your old place just before you move out is a given. Many apartment managers can provide a checklist of things you’ll need to clean. This would include areas that people don’t typically clean on a regular basis, such as the space underneath the oven burners, the baseboards and the insides of light fixtures. You shouldn’t have to get out an old toothbrush to scrub along the base of the toilet, but use quality cleaning supplies and methodically attack each room from top to bottom. Keep your own checklist of everything you cleaned.

Keep Records of Professional Cleaning Services

If you had a company come in to deep-clean your carpet, make a copy of your receipt to provide to your landlord. Carpet cleaning is a common charge that can be taken out of your deposit, so make sure your landlord knows you had it done. The same goes for any professional cleaning services that helped clean the kitchen, bathroom, windows and so on.

Understand When a Charge is Justified

Some apartments set a fixed charge that will be taken out when every tenant leaves, regardless of how clean the place is. This can include things like wall retouching and maintenance. Any of these charges should have been made clear in your rental agreement when you moved in. If there was any damage to the apartment, this will likely be taken out of your deposit. This includes minor damage such as nail holes in the walls, scratches on counters or dents on kitchen appliances. Your apartment manager should go over these details with you on a move-out walkthrough. You may have the opportunity to dispute any charges; however, some wear and tear is normal in any residence and some of it may have to be paid by the tenant. Understand that if you burned or stained the carpet or put a big hole in the wall, you will have to pay for the repairs.

In most cases, you should be able to receive the majority of your cleaning deposit back, or even the full amount, as long as you’ve taken care of the property while you lived there and left it nice and clean. Sometimes a landlord can try to take advantage of tenants as they move out, and that’s why it’s important to keep records and know when you should be rightly charged for cleaning or damage – or not. Also, having a team of experienced Raleigh movers can help so no accidental damage is done to the property when your heavy furniture is moved out.