If you’re like most Polk County renters, you don’t worry too much about how to clean your rental house when you move out. That is until such time when you start wondering about how much you want to get your security deposit back. To be able to obtain a full refund, most landlords expect you to leave the house as spotless as you can get it. However, doing so can be quite tricky. Nevertheless, by applying these five expert cleaning tips, you can greatly maximize the likelihood of getting your security deposit back after you’ve moved out.
Tip #1: Read Your Lease
Probably your lease isn’t the first place you would normally go to find cleaning tips. However, as a renter, the chances are that your lease documents (including addenda, if any) include language that can help you understand what your landlord’s expectations are. Most of the times, you’ll find resolutions to common issues like whether you need to have the carpets professionally cleaned, which parts of the property will be inspected, and so on.
Tip #2: Get (and Use) A Move-Out Checklist
Good landlords will typically send their tenants a move-out checklist around the time that their tenants give notice they are moving out. But, even if yours did not, you can discover tons of comprehensive cleaning checklists online. It’s fairly crucial to use a checklist as you clean to guarantee that you don’t neglect some other things, both inside and out in the yard. Even small cleaning tasks missed might add up to big deductions on your security deposit, so it’s worth the effort.
Tip #3: Think Like a Landlord
One of the most reliable ways to get your entire security deposit back is to put yourself in your landlord’s shoes. Try to remember the condition the property was in when you moved in, and aim for that same level of cleanliness when you leave. If you have any questions, ask your landlord what their definition of “clean” is. You could also keep in mind that the next tenant will want to move into a clean house, so leaving it the way you would like it if you were moving in is a good rule of thumb.
Tip #4: Don’t Leave Stuff Behind
It is not unusual for tenants to abandon personal property they no longer need or want in a rental house. But it’s not too much more effort to drag your unwanted junk to the curb or drop it off at a charity thrift shop. Plus, if you leave your stuff on the property, the landlord will likely charge you for clean-up and removal of the items. That spells a smaller security deposit coming back to you.
Tip #5: Go the Extra Mile
In the midst of moving out, it may be tempting to do the minimum amount of cleaning while cutting corners wherever you can. Although that may be okay in some instances, most of the times, that approach will lead to deductions from your security deposit for cleaning and repairs. If you can, give yourself a little extra time to go over some of the details. Fill nail holes with drywall putty, for example, or make sure you’ve cleaned interior windows and dusted the blinds and ceiling fans.
By applying these move-out cleaning tips, you leave your landlord with very little to complain about and no excuses not to give you your full security deposit back in regards to cleanliness.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.