As a Tenant, What Should I Do When Moving Out?

Moving out of an apartment or residence can be a stressful time for people. It becomes even more stressful when the landlord deducts charges from your security deposit or even keeps the full amount. This article will address what you should do when you’re getting ready to move out to make sure the landlord doesn’t have the right to take monies from your deposit.

The first and most important thing to do when getting ready to leave a property you are renting is to make sure you give your landlord a written 30-day notice of you moving out. Even if you’re lease is expiring, it’s imperative that you give your landlord 30 days’ notice of when you’re vacating the property as it will prevent your landlord from trying to deduct future rental charges from your security deposit. Just because your lease expires does not mean that you can just leave the premises without providing the landlord any notice.

The next thing to do is, prior to the move out date, you should do everything possible to schedule a walkthrough inspection with your landlord. Remember, excluding reasonable wear and tear, you as a tenant have a duty to return the property to the landlord in the same condition as you received it. Thus, you should take the time during the walkthrough to have the landlord point out things they might deduct from your security deposit, so you can fix them prior to vacating. The more things that are fixed, the less monies that can be deducted from your deposit.

Another important thing to do is to make sure you take as many pictures of the condition of the property as possible at the time you are leaving. I would also make sure they are date stamped. That way, if for any reason the landlord tries to deduct certain charges from your security deposit, you may have photographic proof to refute certain damages. Pictures of the condition of the property are by far the best evidence of the condition of the property.

The last thing I would do is to make sure, if at all possible, to remove all of your property from the residence and to clean the property as thoroughly as possible. The landlord will take funds from your deposit if they are forced to have to deal with the belongings you left at the residence or if they have to clean the property to bring it back to the condition it was rented to you. So to prevent the landlord deducting such charges, make sure you leave the place as clean as you possibly can.

If you do all these things, you will be much more likely to receive the full amount of your security deposit. If you have any questions regarding the security deposit or you believe the landlord has unlawfully taken your deposit, please give Ward Law Group PLLC a call at 603-232-5220 so we can assist you with your case.