If you’re like most Portland renters, you don’t worry too much about how to clean your rental house for when you move out. That is until the moment arrives, and you begin to think about how much you want to get your security deposit back. To get a full refund, most landlords expect you to leave the house as spotless as you can. But doing so could be challenging. However, by taking these five expert cleaning tips, you will greatly improve your probability of getting your security deposit back after you’ve moved out.
Tip #1: Read Your Lease
Maybe your lease was not the primary thing you would normally go to find cleaning strategies. But as a renter, the chances are that your lease documents (including addenda, if any) include language that can help you understand what your landlord’s expectations are. In a few cases, you will find important details such as if you need to make the carpets professionally cleaned, which portions of the property will be reviewed, and so on.
Tip #2: Get (and Use) A Move-Out Checklist
Good landlords will typically send their tenants a move-out checklist in case their tenants give notice that they are leaving. But even if yours did not, you can search for a lot of cleaning checklists online. It’s necessary to use a checklist as you clean to make sure that you don’t miss anything, both inside and out in the yard. Even small cleaning tasks missed might add up to big deductions on your security deposit, that is the reason you need to get a checklist.
Tip #3: Think Like a Landlord
One of the best methods to get your entire security deposit back is to put yourself in your landlord’s shoes. Attempt to remember the condition the property was in when you moved in, and aim for that same level of cleanliness before leaving. If you would like more detail, ask your landlord what their definition of “clean” is. It is important to bear in mind that the next tenant would also need a nice place to live, so leaving it the way you would want it if you moved in is a good rule of thumb.
Tip #4: Don’t Leave Stuff Behind
It is very normal for tenants to abandon personal property they no longer need or want in a rental house. But it’s not too much effort to drag your unwanted junk to the curb or drop it off at a charity thrift shop. Also, if you abandon your stuff on the property, the landlord will likely charge you for clean-up and removal of the items. That spells that a smaller security deposit is returning to you.
Tip #5: Go the Extra Mile
In the chaos of moving out, it may be tempting to do the minimum amount of cleaning while cutting corners wherever you can. In some scenarios, maybe it is effective, but most of the time, that method will lead to deductions from your security deposit for cleaning and repairs. If you have time, try to check out some of the details. Fill nail holes with drywall putty, for example, or make sure you’ve cleaned interior windows and dusted the blinds and ceiling fans.
By utilizing these move-out cleaning tips, you leave your landlord with very little to complain about, and they will surely give your full security deposit back in regards to cleanliness.
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