two keys

Here on the Moveline blog, we’ve already covered what to ask your future (or potential future)landlord before moving into a new place, but in today’s post we’re focusing on what to clear with your current landlord before you move out. Since an ounce of prevention is almost always worth a pound of cure, these questions are most definitely worth asking; they may save you an abundance of time and money.

What are the exact cleaning requirements and fees?

We’re not suggesting you leave an apartment in shambles by any means, but when it comes to cleaning and repair fees, sometimes it’s worth your time and money to leave things to the professionals. Find out exactly what’s expected of you when you move out, and what the corresponding fees are for services that may need to be rendered once you’re gone.

If the property manager charges a flat fee for professional carpet cleaning and it’s a) cheaper than hiring a company on your own and b) less of a hassle than renting a machine and trying to do it yourself, simply running a vacuum and paying the fee might be the best option.

Likewise, some equations are true no-brainers. If there’s a $75 fee for repainting the walls once you’ve left, but repainting them yourself will cost more than that in paint supplies alone, the more efficient option is — again — to let the professionals handle it. On the other end of the spectrum, dusting and wiping down every surface and cleaning the bathroom might save you a decent amount of cash, making it completely worth the elbow grease and the $5 you dropped on a bottle of all-purpose cleaner. If leaving the walls full of tiny nail holes carries a hefty fee, a five-minute spin around the old apartment with a $4 tube of Liquid Nails from the local hardware store is probably worth your investment. When push comes to shove, let your inner economist figure out what’s best for you.

What time should you turn in your keys?

Sure, you know your move-out date, but when it comes to kissing the place goodbye and relinquishing the keys, do you have until midnight, or only until the management office closes? It may seem overly simplistic, but making sure you can meet the deadline in the midst of a move may save you a pro-rated day of rent, and from the standpoint of common courtesy, it may give your old landlord more time to prep the apartment for new tenants in the event of a quick turnaround.

Ideally, you may even want to schedule the move itself a day or two (or even more) in advance of your last day of occupancy to give yourself some wiggle room and reduce your stress overall.

Can you make life a little easier on the day of a move?

It may be possible to reserve and elevator, cordon off a loading zone and otherwise make for an easy getaway with a little advance planning. All you have to do is ask.

How soon can you expect your refunded deposit?

It’s not unreasonable to politely ask when you might anticipate receipt of your refunded deposit — or whatever portion of it will be due once any deductions have been made. Make sure your property management office has your forwarding address on file so there’s no confusion or delay.

Can you have a letter of reference?

Depending on where you move in the future, it may be helpful to have reference letters on hand from the managers of your former places of residence. With high turnover, your former landlords and property managers may no longer be reachable when you need them, so it may be wise to ask for something in writing now — provided, of course, that you’re leaving on good terms.

Regardless of what you’re leaving behind and where you’re planning to land (in the United States, at least), Moveline can simplify your move. We’ll help you find the best deal, take the mystery out of the inventory process, and oversee your move with a professional, reputable moving company from start to finish. Don’t go it alone. Let us help. It’s why we’re here.