Congratulations on your move!
Whether you’re trading houses, graduating, switching jobs, or any other reason, we wish you all the best. To make the move-out process easier, we’ve provided some basic tips below:
ABOUT THE MOVE OUT
1. Make sure you have read your lease carefully and have provided the required notice to vacate; a copy is with your lease and in the move-out checklist here.
2. Providing notice includes the forwarding address to which the security deposit check will be mailed. The security deposit check will be made out to the “Primary Tenant.” If you have a question concerning who is the “Primary Tenant” please contact the office.
3. Print the move-out checklist and use it as a guide to ensure you leave the property in good condition and receive all of your security deposit back. If you have any questions, give us a call.
4. If applicable, be sure to provide a copy of your carpet cleaning receipt. Remember, the carpet must be cleaned by our Home Support Team™. Failure to provide a receipt will likely result in a carpet cleaning deduction from your security deposit.
5. Remember, rent continues until you turn in ALL of your keys to our office, regardless of whether you’ve completely moved out.
Download the move-out checklist here
ABOUT SECURITY DEPOSITS
Don’t get caught off guard when it comes time to move and clean. The excuse “we’ve been cleaning all day” is often used instead of the reality, which is “we’ve been MOVING all day”. Moving and cleaning are two totally different things.
If you take the time to read the following important information, you won’t get caught off guard because we are telling you up front how to MAXIMIZE the return of your Security Deposit and avoid costly court action if damages exceed your Security Deposit.
Management companies will do whatever they can to keep your deposit, and you will have to fight to get it back.
Your deposit is held to pay for any damages (financial or physical) that you cause, and we would like NOTHING better than to give it all back!
In fact, if you read through all of this material, follow the instructions, and don’t have any outstanding balances owing, you will be very happy with the check that is returned to you.
However, you get out what you put in. If you wait until the last minute or expect that you can move and clean 12 months worth of dust and fingerprints in an afternoon, you will be disappointed.
On the following pages you will find helpful lists of things that will make your cleaning easier, as well as tips as to what, and how much to clean. We even go as far as to tell you what other people have missed, so you won’t.
STUFF YOU’LL NEED LIST
- Paper towels galore and/or cleaning rags
- Old Toothbrush (you can use your roommate’s in a pinch, we won’t tell)
- Trash Bags
- Scrub Brush
- Sponges with one side that scrubs
- Rubber Gloves
- Broom and Dustpan
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Bathroom Cleaner
- Glass Cleaner
- Dishwashing Detergent
*TIME – To play it extra safe, budget 4 hours of cleaning (real hard scrubbing, taking things to the dump, not “planning”) for each month you have lived in your home.
Cleaning product hint: Miracle cleaners, like “scrubbing bubbles” and “toilet ducks” rarely work. You will get more done, in less time, and for less money if you purchase tried and true products, such as: Comet cleanser, 409, bleach, and Windex brand glass cleaner.
These cleaners are also inexpensive, so purchase enough that three people cleaning in different rooms aren’t sharing one bottle of 409.
You can not expect to move and clean your home, no matter how much help you have, in one day. If you are going to successfully clean your home, you need to have a game plan BEFORE the day you move. While you can’t clean everything weeks in advance, you can get started.
Sort through closets and storage areas and get rid of things you no longer need.
Start packing things you can do without. The less you have to pack and organize on moving day the better off you will be. Label boxes so you can retrieve the toothbrush you mistakenly packed.
Dispose of the furniture you will not be taking with you. Old couches and chairs can be troublesome. Don’t get caught short trying to figure out how to get them to the dump on moving day.
Pre-clean the really dirty, or hard to clean things like bathtubs and showers, stoves and ovens, refrigerator and windows. These things are time consuming to clean. If you do them early, you will just have to do a quick wipe down before you move.
Clean in the correct order
On cleaning day, after you have moved all of your belongings out, clean in the correct order. Don’t waste your time cleaning floors if people are still cleaning and moving around, or you will have to clean them twice. You will find that you can get more done, and more quickly if you pick a room to start in, and don’t leave that room until it is done. Cleaning a little here and a little there is not efficient.
ROOM BY ROOM CLEANING TIPS
Clean all appliances, inside and out. Lift up the top of the stove and clean out all the gook. Clean the oven. If you can’t get all of the burned on stuff off the stove burner rings and pans, either wrap them in aluminum foil, or purchase replacements at Wal Mart. (SAVE the old ones, no matter what condition they are in. Just leave them on the counter)
Clean UNDER the drawers in the refrigerator.
Clean the door seals on the refrigerator and dishwasher.
Clean grease splatters on the stove hood and wall behind the stove with a degreaser like 409.
Vacuum, and then wipe out all cabinets and drawers with a damp cloth.
Clean windows, window tracks, baseboards and floors.
WARNING: Do not get oven cleaner on ANYTHING but the inside of the oven. It will eat through paint and discolor chrome and plastic. Read the directions carefully!
DO NOT move appliances. If it is necessary, WE will clean under the stove. This is MUCH cheaper than paying for a damaged kitchen floor.
Scrub the toilet, shower and bathtub. Be sure to remove all soap scum from the shower / tub. This takes some elbow grease, and the right cleaner. For bathtubs, use Comet cleanser. This works for showers as well, but be sure not to scratch the surface.
Mildew can easily be eliminated by cleaning with bleach. Just spray it on, let it sit a few minutes then rinse with clear water.
Bleach poured into the toilet will remove most stains, but scrubbing may be required.
Clean all cabinets, and drawers. Clean the medicine cabinet.
Clean the mirrors and windows with Windex.
After scrubbing, chrome faucets can be “polished” by cleaning with Windex.
Wipe down spots on the walls and ceilings with a damp rag and some 409.
Clean the floors and baseboards last.
Bedrooms and Common Rooms:
Vacuum or broom cobwebs from all corners (both floor and ceiling)
Dust off the shelves in closets.
Remove all nails and staples that were used to hang pictures (do NOT patch holes).
Clean windows and window tracks.
Clean floors (on your way out the door).
Do NOT attempt to clean the carpets, or have them cleaned.
Walls should NOT be washed. If not done properly you can do more damage than good. You SHOULD wipe down door jambs and doors, as well as remove scuff marks and small spots on walls, but the wholesale washing of walls should not be done.
Outside (yards and parking area)
Be sure both front and back yards are clean of all litter, including beer cans and bottles, paper, cigarette butts etc.
Trash barrels must be neat, with lids closed. DO NOT put anything beside the trash barrel or dumpster.
Broom down all screens (take care not to bend them).
Common areas, such as laundry rooms and shared parking / yard areas are YOUR responsibility. Work out a plan with your neighbors to get them clean. If they are not cleaned, we will split the cost to do so between ALL tenants.
Commonly Missed Items
Your home was equipped with them when you moved in, they had batteries, and were working. If you have removed them, replace them, and the batteries.
This year, we replaced EVERY screen on EVERY property we own. If you have bent one, removed one, or torn one, have it fixed before we do. It will be less expensive for you to take the screen to a glass shop, than it will be for us to call out our contractor.
The locks and latches on your home’s doors (including bedrooms) are part of a very elaborate company wide key system. If you have replaced any locks with those of your own, we STRONGLY suggest that you put the company locks back on the doors before you leave. Locksmithing is VERY expensive. We use (and will accept) only Kwikset brand locks.
Yards and Storage:
Your yard, and any storage areas must be left as clean and ready as the rest of your home. Moving includes ALL areas of the property. Any items left behind that are clearly not “trash” will be removed and stored (for a daily fee) off-site.
The trash company will ONLY pick up items placed in a dumpster or trash barrel. If you have “extra” trash piled around the dumpster or trash barrels, it will be removed at an extra cost by our contractors. The trash company will NOT pick up couches, tires, beds, or large items. If we have to remove these items, we charge for them.
Here are some rates:
- Couch – $45.00 EACH
- Stuffed Chair: – $35.00 EACH
- Mattress: – $45.00 EACH
- Tires: – $35.00 EACH
- Bags of trash: – $15.00 EACH
- Sweep, clean up trash around property because of improper disposal: $45.00 per HOUR.
If you have installed an extra phone line, network, cable, dsl or other line, remove it before you go. If these devices were installed by a professional, you may leave them.
If there is a non-running or un-registered vehicle on the premises at the end of your lease, it will be towed at your expense the day we take the property back.
SECURITY DEPOSIT Q&A
“When will I get my security deposit back?”
State law allows us 45 days to account for, and return any balance of your security deposit due. We do everything we can to get security deposits back to you well before the 45 days are up. You can greatly speed up the return of your security deposit by leaving your home “move in ready” for the next tenant… The less time we have to spend cleaning and fixing, the more time we can spend writing checks.
“Where will you send it?”
Your deposit will be mailed to the one address that you email to us. If you do not email an address we will send it to your FortWayneListings.com address and the post office will forward it to the forwarding address you provided them.
“What if I didn’t break it?”
Your lease agreement is a “joint and several” agreement… In plain English, EACH tenant is responsible for his own actions, and the actions of all other tenants and guests. What does this mean to you? IF there are security deposit charges, we won’t be having the discussion about WHO was at fault. That is for YOU to figure out and deal with BEFORE we make any deductions from your deposit.
We will not allow any holding over (staying beyond your lease term). Your lease expiration date is in your lease. You were aware of this date when you signed the lease, and we can not make extensions for any reason. We have many homes to work through, clean and make ready for the next tenants that are expecting to move in on a specified date. We are reminding you WELL IN ADVANCE that if you are graduating, having a party etc., and “just can’t be out”, that you have no choice. Our crews will be entering and making repairs and cleaning for the next residents starting at 9:00am on the day your lease expires. Please make plans NOW to be out at the end of your lease.
Download the move-out checklist here
You ARE ready to get cleaning aren’t you? If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.