The Move Out Process
When moving out of your present residence, one of your most important considerations will undoubtedly be taking the proper steps to ensure the prompt and complete return of your security deposit. You are entitled to request a "pre-inspection," which may help identify items requiring attention. However, the pre-inspection cannot and is not intended to be the complete basis upon which your security deposit refund will be calculated. The following guidelines are intended to assist you in preparing the property for final inspection, and the refund of your security deposit.
Review any 'statement of Conditions' created at the time you originally moved into the residence. As an essential consideration, you are required to return the residence to its original condition, normal wear and tear excepted.
You should also review the rental contract you initially signed, along with any subsequent addendums. These documents typically have a wealth of information as to specific responsibilities. Frequently, departing residents are required to have carpeting cleaned. Other specific cleaning requirements are often identified; for example, fireplace cleaning, dependent upon use. You should ensure that all light fixtures and bulbs are operational, smoke detectors are functioning, doorstops are intact, and window coverings and screens are properly installed. In addition to those tasks noted above, the most significant effort you can take to ensure return of your security deposit is to properly clean the residence. The following checklist is intended primarily as a guide, and should not be considered absolute. The specific layout and amenities of your residence will determine the actual cleaning and preparation required.
- Clean refrigerator, including all shelves, crisper, footguard. Wipe off top, sides and doors.
- Clean stovetop and oven, paying attention to broiler pan, burners or coils, drip pans, controls and the "collection" area under drip pans. Unless your oven is a self-cleaning appliance, use oven cleaner on interior, including the door gasket. Please d not leave aluminum foil on drip pans!
- Clean the upper and lower surfaces of the range hood, and wash out metal filter (suggestion: if practical, run it through the dishwasher).
- Clean all incidental appliances, including microwave and dishwasher.
- Scrub sink thoroughly. Leave no refuse in disposal.
- Empty all shelves and cabinets. Clean thoroughly, including drawer interiors and door handles.
- Wipe spills from walls and around outlets. Clean outlet plates.
- Wipe off counter tops and clean cutting board.
- Clean light fixtures/covers.
- Sweep and mop behind all appliances that can be readily moved (i.e. refrigerator).
- Scrub out tub/shower and remove any decals you applied while in residence. Remove soap and water residue from pan, wall surround and glass enclosure.
- Clean toilet inside and out.
- Scrub sink, clean countertop and vanity and/or medicine cabinets.
- Polish chrome and mirror.
- Clean light fixture/cover.
- Sweep and mop floor.
Living Room/Dining Room/Family Room/Bedrooms/Hallways:
- Clean baseboards, doorframes, walls and switch plates, removing fingerprints and other marks. Wash with mild soap solution only.
- Remove any picture hangers, nails or "stick-on" picture hangers from walls carefully! DO NOT RIP OFF! (Review your rental contract for additional steps necessary to patch after removing any type of nail or hangers.)
- Check window coverings for dirt, stains or signs of damage. Clean as appropriate.
- Check tops of traverse rods and valances, clean as necessary.
- Clean windowsills, windows and screens. Check window tracks. Clean out dirt to allow water from condensation to dissipate. Remove any stickers from windows.
- Clean heater vent covers.
- Remove cobwebs throughout.
- Vacuum closets and remove clothes hangers and other incidentals.
- Clean light fixtures, make sure all bulbs are operational.
- Patios cleaned.
- Clean and sweep carport or garage floor.
- Remove any oil spills.
- Dispose of any remaining refuse.
- Clean any storage closets or compartments.
- Remove cobwebs.
- Lawns should be mowed and well-maintained.
- Yard waste, weeds and debris should be removed.
- Walkways and porches should be swept.
- Appearance of landscaping, at minimum, should be consistent with how it looked when you moved in.
If you are liable for exterior care and cleaning, the outside of your residence should be suitably prepared before you vacate, so it doesn't look untended and ignored. Any debris or personal refuse should be properly disposed of. (Yard waste containers are not to be used for trash disposal-hauling companies will not separate trash from yard waste, and may charge additional fees for special handling.)
Occasionally, but infrequently, we have discovered physical damage, beyond normal wear and tear, when the property has been vacated. The cost to repair damage or abuse will be a deduction from the security deposit. If you know of a repair you're responsible for (for example, a broken door frame), you will have to arrange for a properly licensed and insured vendor to address the problem. (Most rental contracts prohibit tenants from personally performing these types of repairs to the premises, due to insurance and liability concerns.) If you have questions on this matter, please contact a DeDe's representative.
Final inspections are scheduled and performed by the DeDe's Rentals maintenance department after the property is completely empty of personal belongings, and once the vacating tenant has completed all cleaning and preparation they intended to accomplish personally.
Rent is due and calculated per diem up to and including the day you relinquish possession. You will be classified as "vacated" only after you have delivered all keys and means of access to a DeDe's representative. Our office is located next to the Post Office at Coddingtown Center. Our office is open Monday-Friday, 9:00-5:00pm, and Saturday 10:00-2:00pm. If you intend to drop off keys after we close, we do have a secure mail slot. If keys are found in the mail slot at the very beginning of any specific business day, we will not compute rent due for that day.
Lastly, along with your keys, please be sure to provide us with your forwarding address in writing, so we can send you your security deposit refund!