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Move Out Checklist: 6 Things To Do Before Moving Out of a RentalDecember 27th, 2022 by
Moving usually doesn’t top anyone’s list of favorite activities, but it’s something we all have to do at some point. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make the process easier and less stressful.
When you move out of a rental property, it’s especially important to plan ahead. Failing to follow the exact move-out stipulations in your lease could mean that you’ll forfeit your security deposit. We’ve put together a handy checklist to help you keep everything straight as you move out of your rental and into your new home.
Your Moving Out Checklist
1. Read your lease one more time.
Before you buy cleaning supplies or schedule a housecleaning service, read the fine print on your lease. It should have the details of exactly what you’re expected to do before turning in your keys.
If your lease doesn’t have that information (or isn’t detailed enough), reach out to your landlord or property management company. Do this in writing, so you have the documentation.
2. Take down pictures and wall hangings and patch the holes.
One of the easiest ways to spruce up your rental is to patch holes in the walls. If you’ve hung any artwork with nails and picture hangers, carefully pull those pieces out of the walls. In most cases, you’ll just have a small pinhole left behind.
Buy a small jar of joint compound, a flat spatula, and a package of fine-grit sandpaper at your local home improvement store. You’ll also need a small can of wall paint. Your landlord or property manager should have the color information. They might even have spare paint to give you – just ask!
Once you’ve collected your supplies, take a couple days to patch and paint. Use the flat spatula to press and smooth joint compound into and over the pinholes. Let the compound dry overnight, and then lightly sand off any rough edges with the sandpaper. Finally, cover the repaired spots with a coat of wall paint.
3. Deep clean appliances.
Cleaning the stove, oven, refrigerator, and microwave is an essential step in moving out of a rental home. You’ll save money by doing this yourself, but you can also hire a housecleaning service to do the work for you.
4. Thoroughly clean the space.
This is another must-do, whether you do the work or let the pros handle it. Don’t forget to wipe down blinds, mirrors, and ceiling fan blades. Be sure to also sweep, mop, and vacuum the floors. If the carpet has seen any spills, treat those areas with stain remover. To be extra safe, have the carpets professionally cleaned.
5. Make any necessary repairs.
Most lease agreements specify that the tenant must return the property to its original condition.
If anything in the house or apartment has been damaged or changed during your time there, it needs to be repaired. This includes damage from pets and kids, fixtures you may have swapped out, or rooms that you painted.
6. Schedule the walkthrough.
Once you’ve done everything you can to clean and fix up the space, request a final walkthrough with your landlord or property manager. Try to schedule this for about two weeks from your official move-out date. That way, if the landlord asks you to do anything else before vacating the property, you’ll have time.
Getting your security deposit back can be easier said than done, depending on your landlord. But if you follow our checklist and do your best to meet the lease requirements, you’ll have a good chance at seeing that money again.