You’ve been renting a place for a while now and the time has come to move out. What happens next? What does your Landlord expect from a move-out inspection when you vacate the property and how can you ensure you’ll get a full refund of your security deposit?
Move-out inspection cleaning standards
First off, clean the premises. Clean the floors, the walls, and the appliances (inside and out, under and around). Don’t forget to clean the windows, the window tracks, the bathrooms, and the cabinets (inside and out).
Anything that can collect dirt or dust should be wiped down, washed and thoroughly cleaned. Make sure the carpets are professionally cleaned and show the receipt to the Landlord as proof. You might also want to ask the Landlord if they have a checklist of what’s expected and use it as a guide in preparing the premises for when you give back the keys.
The Landlord cannot deduct “normal wear and tear” from your security deposit, but they can and will deduct costs from your security deposit if they have to repair damages you’ve left behind. The same is true if they have to send in a professional cleaning company to clean what you were supposed to.
When you hand the keys back to the owner or Property Manager, the premises should be ready for the next Tenants to move in.
- If you’ve broken something, fix it
- If you’ve damaged something, repair it
It is your responsibility as a Tenant to leave the premises clean and make right any damages that you, or your guests, have caused, either through negligence or done deliberately. If you don’t, you can expect a significant portion of your deposit will likely be forfeited to cover these costs.
The best way to ensure you’ll get all of your deposit back is to make sure the premises are clean, tidy and in a condition that’s similar to when you moved in. No one expects you to leave it in a condition that’s better (or to a higher standard) than when you moved in, but it shouldn’t be worse (except for reasonable wear and tear).
Reasonable wear and tear refers to the natural deterioration that occurs due to aging and other natural forces where the tenant has used the premises in a responsible and reasonable manner.
If you have any questions about your specific premises or move-out inspection requirements, contact your Landlord a week or two before you move out to confirm what they expect. That way there’s no grey area and less chance of any misunderstandings.