Monday, June 15, 2009

Moving in or out of a rented House or Apartment

Before you move into a rented House or Apartment, be sure to do a walk through with the owner or property manager. Why? Because when you move out, the landlord may attempt to charge you for "damages" to the unit. What defines damages is often contested and the tenant, unless they have a move-in-checklist and pictures, may lose out in court.

General rule of thumb - are you leaving the unit in the same condition as when you moved in? Again take pictures and have the landlord or property manager agree to the condition. Same when you leave.

A landlord can only withhold for damages only amounts that are deemed reasonable for the damage claimed. If a defect existed before you moved in, you should not be charged for that particular problem. The importance of pictures and a move-in checklist cannot be stressed enough.

Normal Wear and Tear is vague term and means different things to different people. So protect yourself.

Take pictures - use a disposable or video camera. Pictures are worth a thousand words and therefore, dollars. Sign and date the pictures and save them in case your landlord does not return your security deposit.The average cost to clean an average 1bedroom is $175-210 for the full job. If you do not have time, consider hiring a cleaning service.

Normal Wear and Tear may include things such as faded paint - you yourself did not cause the paint to fade, thus you would not be responsible if and when the landlord decides to repaint.

Damages are actual things in the apartment that you or your guests actually break - such as a window or a hole in the wall.

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