If you are a renter and it’s time to move out after the lease has ended, doing an excellent job cleaning up can help ensure your deposit comes back in full! Many landlords are looking out for overall maintenance and well-being of their property, so seeing a perfect move-out helps them think kindly of their renter, and they will be less critical when thinking about your deposit. Keeping your deposit is great, and losing it is very frustrating.
It’s important to focus on the details and not leave baked-on scum in the oven, filth in the bathroom shower or around the toilets. It’s good to dust the blinds during the rental period, which can be a real problem after a lease; going a year without dusting the blinds is one of the worst things for a landlord to deal with. Dusting is easy, but scrubbing off dirt is hard – and blinds have many surfaces that are costly to clean thoroughly. Sometimes landlords see that blinds were never dusted and they will simply replace the blinds in the entire place! (seen it)
Carpet care is also important, because carpeting is super expensive. Did you know that it can cost $20,000 to re-carpet an entire house? Some people who have only rented do not realize this, and damaging the flooring becomes a shock to the landlord who then taps the entire deposit, and even bills you for the rest.
It is important to know that if you have taken good care of a property, and the deposit is still threatened, there is legal recourse for this. Technically you are not expected to clean beyond the condition of the place when you moved in. This means that if there are pre-existing marks on the baseboards, or the oven is really old and has damaged paint – you are not responsible. It’s always good to take pictures of the property before you move in – and taking really detailed pictures of the condition of cleanliness can help save you from paying for restoration that you are not liable for.