Renting an Apartment: Don’t Get a Costly Surprise When It’s Time to Move

Renting an apartment or condo is an affordable option for many people. Here are some things to look out for when you are renting so that you don’t end up losing your deposit or owing the rental company money when you get ready to move out:

For any nail or tack holes that you might have made in the apartment walls, try toothpaste to fill them in. It’s something you’ll have on hand anyway, so it won’t cost any extra. Of course this won’t work if the walls are too much darker than the toothpaste, but a trip to the hardware store and a couple of bucks can get you a tube of caulk that is meant specifically for filling in nail holes.

Upon moving in you will receive a move-in inspection sheet. This sheet is for you to make comments about anything that is damaged or stained/dirty. You will want to take pictures of any carpet, wall, or other damages that you could be blamed for later. With a photo record you cannot be held responsible for the damages. Make sure that a copy of the photos is submitted with your sheet to the rental office and that you keep a copy for yourself.

Any time that you have a mess or spill on the carpet use a cleaner right away. If at all possible don’t let it settle in the carpet, as it will be much more difficult to get out later. There are products on the market to specifically get rid of red stains, such as Red Erase, which can be particularly difficult to remove. If even that fails it might still be a good idea to see if a professional steam cleaning company could dye the spots out to save you from being charged for re-carpeting the entire room.

Make sure you read your lease’s exact wording about putting in your notice to move. I once had to pay an entire month of rent because I thought I had a thirty day notice, but it turned out the notice had to be in by the 1st of the month, not just thirty days in advance.

I have learned these little tricks from my own bad experiences. Hopefully my easily avoidable mistakes will be able to save you some cash and hassle.

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