Moving into a new place is exciting and most of us want nothing more than to get there and bid farewell to our old apartment quickly. But before we leave our old homes it’s worth taking a careful look around for potential damages. It’s likely that there are holes, scuff marks, and broken things here and there. Fixing these will take only a handful of hours and will ensure you’ll get your security deposit back from your landlord. Each state or city may have different requirements or rental laws, so be sure to see what they are in the area. Here are some common apartment damages, tips for moving out, and how to fix them:
Holes in Walls
Your walls will likely have holes from installed art, shelves and televisions. You’ll need putty (like spackle), sandpaper, and a putty knife to fix these. First put enough putty in to fill in the hole, then spread and blend into the wall with a putty knife. Once dry, use the sand paper to smooth out the area. For large holes you’ll need a mesh repair patch—you’ll cut this to size to fill the hole, then smooth over with putty and sand when dry. If you want a visual to see how it’s done, check out https://www.wikihow.com/Fix-a-Hole-in-a-Wall.
Look to see if any of your blinds are broken or bent. If bent, you might be able to straighten them by hand. If the damage is beyond simple repair, you might consider grabbing a new set of blinds—which are typically inexpensive—to snap into the place of the old ones.
If there were no blinds when you moved in, be sure to take yours with you, especially if they are damaged. Otherwise, your landlord will take the labor to remove them out of your deposit.
Before moving out, check your hardwood floors are prone to scratches—from our shoes, impact with objects and pets. Luckily, they are easily fixed. A trip to the hardware store will reveal the plethora of markers, stains and pastes available to repair nicks and scratches. Speak to a professional at the store to find the best option for your floor type. Ideally, know the wood and stain color family before going to the store.
If your old apartment had carpet, look for stains that you might have caused during your stay. One of the many tips for moving out? You can use a number of stain removers designed for carpets at retailer stores. However, if the stains are too hard or large to remove, rent a carpet-cleaning machine that could literally do the heavy (stain) lifting for you. Again, plan to have the cost to remove stains, or replace carpet, out of your deposit if the former landlord needs to clean or replace the carpet.
A Few More Tips for Moving Out:
If you find a new apartment or home to lease, it’s always prudent to “cover” yourself by doing the following before moving out:
- Take someone with you to look at the new place.
- Make sure to take your cellphone with you to take pictures of existing problems with the space. There could be malfunctioning faucets, broken locks, obvious cabinet or appliance issues, all scratches or stains in carpets, holes existing in walls, and more.
- Check the plumbing. Flush toilets, run the faucets, turn light fixtures on and off, randomly check electrical outlets, and anything else you may think of.
- It’s a good idea to look at the view out any windows. You may require “more-than-normal” coverings for privacy from occupants in buildings in close proximity.
- If there are no window coverings, take photos of that as well.
Take notes on anything you need or want repaired or replaced before you move in. Use these things as leverage on the monthly rent. Don’t be caught in a pinch! If you discover an issue after you move in, call the landlord immediately.