Tenant move out tips have been compiled over years of rental management, to help tenants know how to protect their security deposit money. It's important for tenants to treat the property like it was their own, cleaning regularly and making sure when they move out, that the property is ready for a new tenant to move in. Florida law regarding security deposit claims does allow for tenants to leave the property with "normal wear and tear" without being penalized.
Top tenant move out tips for those that want to get their security deposit money back!
C L A I M S F R O M S E C U R I T Y D E P O S I T S:
S I M P L E T H I N G S T E N A N T S S H O U L D
C L E A N / R E P A I R B E F O R E M O V E - O U T S
Best tenant move out tips always include ACs. Why? Tenants tend to forget to leave a clean AC filter when they move out. AC filters MUST BE changed or cleaned EVERY MONTH. Why? They end up looking like these (below)! This condition directly affects the health of everyone living in your house. AND it shortens the life of the AC unit which costs your landlord money. If the AC is left in this condition, this means the AC coil is also very dirty and needs to be acid washed.
Helpful tip to tenants: you can't change the filter for the first time when you're moving out, and think the AC guy or landlord won't know you never changed or cleaned the filter while living in the unit! The entire system will show a massive build-up of dirt and dust. To clean systems like the below, expect a cost of more than $250 to include coil cleaning, cleaning the outside unit, and possibly an additional $200-$500 if the ducts also need to be cleaned.
General rule of thumb: change the AC filter every month. Filters are cheap, and easy to find at most any Publix, Walgreens, Home Depot, ACE Hardware, Lowes, Walmart, etc. Find the size of the AC filter, and buy several at a time to save money. And yes, changing AC filters and the costs for them are almost always the responsibility of the tenant. Top tenant move out tips include NOT LEAVING the AC closet or filter looking like these tenants did!
AC vent left filthy. This is THE most common issue seen in move-outs. This was from a tenant move-out in a well-known luxury high-rise building on Miami Beach. This much dirt/dust on this vent means the tenants NEVER changed or cleaned the AC filter. They did damage to the AC unit (costing the landlord a lot of money, and shortened the life of the AC unit), and ENDANGERED the health of their kids! WHY would you live like this??? The amount of dust and pollen and allergens circulating in this home, never being cleaned out of the air they were breathing, is REALLY REALLY unhealthy. KEEP AC FILTERS CLEAN!!! Replace (or clean) them ONCE A MONTH!!
Many holes in walls, and pieces of plaster missing (most likely the tenant had tape there, and when ripped off, took large chunks of plaster with it). TENANT MOVE OUT TIPS includes REPAIRING any holes made in the walls or doors! If you don't make the repairs, you'll be paying the expense for the patching, sanding, painting that will be taken from your security deposit, the bill will be sent to you, or you could be sued if the damage is significant.
Wall holes need to be patched and touched up. Check out the 3M Wall Patch Kit - has everything you need to do the repair yourself (minus the right color paint). This kit, selling for around $10 with free Prime shiping on Amazon, is FAR FAR LESS than what a landlord can take from a security deposit!!! In this particular case, the handyman charged $75 to repair these spot on the wall.
Kitchen cabinet handle. HOW GROSS IS THIS? This was a local veterinarian and mother of three. She clearly didn't believe in keeping a clean house. Just nasty. Maid service costs were taken from her security deposit as this rental was left way beyond acceptable.
Black marks on walls, scuff marks on baseboards and doors, crayon and pencil marks, kitchen grease and nastiness etc usually clean up perfectly LIKE MAGIC with very little effort and a Mr. Clean MAGIC ERASER! They are amazing little things that clean up all kinds of things in a home. EVERY home should have a bunch, on hand, at all times!
Tenant move out tips include cleaning: make sure to clean the grease and dirt off all cabinet handles, doors and countertops, inside drawers and cabinets.
The above photos represent costly claims against this tenant's security deposit. The amounts included professional licensed companies that were called out to remedy these issues. Expensive! What if the tenant just used a few super cheap yet awesome products, and addressed these issues themselves? What was approximately $275 in claims would have been about $20 and two hours of effort.
That greasy, grimy NASTINESS can be wiped away in TEN SECONDS with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The maid service uses them too, they really work great!
Even better? JUST CLEAN YOUR HOME! If you don't have the time or know-how to do it yourself, hire a cleaning crew. They are professional and inexpensive. You can find great deals on Angie's List or in your local newspaper or direct mailer for $75 for two hours. They might be all you need, and you and your family will be MUCH HAPPIER living in a very clean home.
What are THE BEST TIPS for tenant move-outs?
If you're the tenant, hire a professional cleaning crew. It's worth the money. Fix all damage you caused to the walls (nail holes, holes from your flat screen TV, etc). And install a new clean AC filter. Turn in your keys the day of, or day before your lease ends (not after). And communicate with your landlord. Let them know the day you'll be out and returning your keys in advance.