To get your apartment deposit back, there are several areas of your apartment that you will need to pay attention to, and possibly repair. The first step is cleaning, cleaning and then a little more cleaning. This part can be made easier by hiring a professional home cleaning service, many of which have special move in and move out packages. There are some things you can do yourself that will help save time and money.
Look outside and do some tidying up. Sweep up deck, patio and balcony areas. Clean out storage sheds and other areas that generally sit around collecting junk, dust and dirt. Check things like light bulbs and exterior fixtures. Replace or repair anything that may not be working. If you are renting a home, duplex or some other property where you have a yard to maintain, be sure to care for it. Mow the lawn, pull the weeds and water and feed the flowers. Some renters actually scrub the grass stains off the porch, which will really make a yard look clean.
After the cleaning is finished, you can start looking for interior repairs. Pull out nails and screws. Use putty, which can be found at any hardware store, to fill in the holes. You can attempt to touch up with paint, but be sure you know what you are doing. Having to repaint an entire wall can eat a big hunk of your deposit away.
Look for interior fixtures and light bulbs. Replace all bulbs that need replacing. Fix or replace broken fixtures. Make sure all outlet covers are in tact and screwed in securely. Many times, moving of furniture can cause cracks and breaks. Most covers are pretty cheap and easy to find. Blinds are more expensive to replace, especially if you have a large window or an odd size. Be sure to buy blinds that match the rest, or replace all of them if necessary.
Once you have cleaned, repaired and replaced everything you can, you have one final step before sweet freedom. Take pictures of the entire apartment. It is recommended to have a newspaper with today’s date for proof, but this isn’t a requirement or always necessary. Photograph repairs closely in case there are any disputes or claims of needing work redone or repaired.