If you're moving out of your apartment, then it's important to take a little time to plan ahead and make sure the place is in tip-top shape before you move. Doing so could mean the difference between receiving your full security deposit back, and being out part of all of that money. Specifically, avoid these two common mistakes, which often cost renters part of their deposits:
Mistake 1: Forgetting to clean the appliances.
Most renters know to give their place a good cleaning before they move out, but they often forget to clean inside items like the refrigerator and oven. Since cleaning these items takes some time, your landlord is likely to keep part of your security deposit as compensation if he or she has to tackle the task.
When cleaning the fridge, make sure you scrub out all stuck-on spills with a toothbrush. Leave the fridge on when you vacate the apartment, unless your landlord has instructed you otherwise, so it does not develop a nasty odor. Leaving an opened box of baking soda inside will also help absorb odors.
Most ovens are self-cleaning. If yours is not, using a commercial oven cleaner (with the windows open for ventilation) is your best bet. You may be able to scrub away that grime with dish soap or baking soda, but it will take hours. Oven cleaner breaks up baked-on grime in minutes.
Mistake 2: Leaving stains or spills on the carpet.
A stain on the carpet makes the whole room look unkempt. Your landlord may pay to have the entire carpet cleaned if you leave a stain behind, and this can really eat into your deposit. To remove a stain, spray it with a carpet stain cleaner, or with a mixture of dish soap and water. Then, blot up the moisture (the staining material should come up with it). Do not rub or scrub the stain -- this just drives it deeper into the carpet.
If you have more than one stain or your carpet is quite soiled, you may want to have it professionally cleaned yourself before moving out. This way, you can shop around for the best deal, rather than subjecting yourself to the cost of whatever service your landlord hires to clean the carpet after you leave.
Before you start preparing your apartment for moving out, it's helpful to read your lease. It may specify that certain actions, such as having the carpet cleaned or patching holes in the wall, must be done in order for you to obtain your deposit back in full.
To learn more, contact a cleaning services company like Kathy's Quality Cleaning, Inc.