Are you moving out of a rental home soon? and certainly anxious about getting as much of your security deposit back as possible. On the other hand many of the scummiest landlords will beat feet the moment and they will do just about anything to keep however much they can.
As long as you abide by Landlord-tenant laws in your area and the steps below, you’ll never have any problem getting your security deposit back from your landlord.
1. Always keep in mind while you and your landlord may have some leeway in negotiating the terms of your lease, there may be certain aspects of landlord-tenant laws in your area that cannot be abridged or waived, even by mutual consent.
2. Clean everything around the apartment. Clean the baseboards, the walls, the doors, everything. Step back and look for things that don’t look clean and get those first.
Don’t bother spending money on carpet cleaning. Oregon law states the landlord must have the carpet cleaned between tenants. You’re going to be charged for that no matter what. You do want it ready for steam cleaning though so vacuum it well.
If the blinds are broken ask the landlord if he has replacements you can install. I’ve had them get so excited that I was doing the work that they gave them to me for free. If they say don’t worry about it, tell them you’d like that in writing on the checkout list.
Go buy those chrome bowls that go under your stove burners at Walmart, BigLots, or somewhere cheap. Jerry’s usually has one version of an item that’s really cheap too. They will cost you less than if they replace them for you.
See chadcf’s comment below. Edited to reflect a more informed opinion. Colgate, the white pasty kind, can be used to fill in most small nail and tack holes and it blends in with most light colored paint.
For larger holes use actual putty then paint it. Go to the walmart paint section and get those color swatches that you think match your paint. Hold them up in decent light and find the exact color of your walls. Get a small can of paint, like 1 pint, and paint the putty. Small cans of paint are cheaper than them paying for painters to come in.
Go buy a new toilet seat. Take off the old one and leave the new one in the package on top of the toilet. If it’s out of the package they will assume it’s not sanitary and charge you for a new one. Clean the hell out of the toilet when you take the old one off too.
If the window screens look dirty, take them off and clean CAREFULLY with a water hose. I put fans in my windows so there’s always a circle of dirt on the screen. Screens break easy and you’ll be paying for replacements if they’re torn or broken.
When you’re done and ready to leave, go buy a newspaper and take lots and lots of pictures of the place. Make sure the newspaper with the date is visible in the pics. This is your insurance against a landlord lying about damages. If it comes to it, small claims isn’t too hard to get through. When the judge sees the pictures he’ll laugh and tell the landlord to go eat shit. Not literally, but you know what I mean.