Maximize Your Deposit Refund - Moving Out Properly

We’ve all been there, the end of the semester is creeping closer, the weather has finally turned and most forms of motivation are drying up quickly.  Who wants to take the time to think about homework let alone preparing your apartment for move-out?  BUT…everyone wants their deposit back, right?  Of course.  Hopefully this post provides you some motivation to reset your apartment and move out properly.  Trust me, the benefit far outweighs the cost.  


First, start by determining your move-out date and putting the date on your (and your roommates) calendar.  Make arrangements for moving your furniture and belongings to your next residence a few days prior to your move-out date to ensure the apartment is empty.  This will aid in properly resetting the apartment.  Moving is a big job, be sure to leave yourself some extra time so you don’t feel stressed out and rushed. 

Next, print off the Checkout Procedure or grab a new copy from the office.  This document is super handy to have; it explains the basic dos and don'ts of checking out and thoroughly explains what is expected as far as cleaning is concerned.  If you have roommates divide the tasks so everyone contributes to cleaning the apartment and no one is stuck doing all the work.  Be sure to include each and every item on the list.  You may not think it will be a big deal to not clean the stove or under and behind the fridge or to replace a burnt out light bulb; remember that if a cleaning or maintenance professional has to enter your apartment to complete one of these tasks, you will be charged for their time. 

Now it is off to the races.  Remove everything from your apartment and get to the cleaning.  Be diligent and work hard.  It will be a ton of effort, but it will pay off in the end!

Finally, your door keys, mailbox keys, parking passes and self-addressed stamped envelope will be due back to the office by 12 noon on your move out date.  Keep in mind that we cannot give full credit for items that are turned in late or not at all.  Place all of these items into one large envelope and properly label the outside of the envelope with your name and the apartment address.  Submit your complete packet of items before 12 noon on your move out date. 

                Door Keys:  return any door key that you signed for when you moved in.  If you’ve lost your key and made your own copies (this is a violation of your lease agreement), turn in the copies you made and discuss this with someone in the office before you move out.  There is a fee of $25 to replace a lost key during the duration of your lease agreement.  If you move out and fail to return a key or return a copied key, the fee jumps to $50. 

                Mail Key:  return the mail key for the apartment.  Be sure to clean out the mail box one more time before returning your key.  Additionally, get online or stop into the post office to change your address.  Once your lease ends, we will not be able to permit access to the mail box or collect your mail on your behalf. 

                Parking Passes:  be certain to return the parking pass that was assigned to you (and if you have roommates, be certain that they return theirs as well).  Just like the keys, if you have lost the parking pass, discuss this with someone at the office prior to moving out as the fees increase if the pass is just not returned. 

                Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope:  The deposit will come back in one check to the primary person on your lease agreement; if you are uncertain of who this is, contact the office and they can help you out with this.  Only the primary person needs to submit  a self-addressed, stamped envelope.  Be sure that it is properly addressed and remember it may not be sent for 45 days after the end date of the lease. 

 Just a few additional reminders:

                 1.        You are responsible to leave the electric on and in your name until your lease end date.  Be sure to contact the electric company and schedule it to be shut off on your move out date, but not before.  There will be penalties if it is found that your electric has been turned off early. 

                 2.       Don’t leave any furniture in the apartment (except that which was supplied by us).  Don’t leave furniture in the hallway or improperly disposed of anywhere on the property (ie, placing furniture items in or about the dumpster, or leaving furniture in the apartment or the hallways will result in a charge).  If you have questions about how to properly dispose of furniture, call the office….or consider donating to a place like Goodwill or Salvation Army. 

                 3.       Deposits will be mailed out to the primary lessee within 45 days of your actual lease-end date (even if you move out early).  There will be an itemized list of any deductions that are made included.

                 4.       You agreed, in your lease, to the carpet cleaning charges.  These are non-negotiable and automatically deducted from the deposit.  Good thing for you, all you have to do is vacuum the carpet well and dust the baseboards – the carpet cleaning professionals will do the rest!

A little bit of sweat equity and organization can go a long way in getting you properly moved out, especially if getting your deposit back is important to you.  Don’t forget to download the Checkout Procedure to help you out.  Drum up some motivation and start thinking about preparing for move-out…it will be here before you know it!