One thing to keep in mind for your Lubbock apartment is paying the security deposit – and hopefully getting it back at the end of your lease.
This chunk of cash due before you move in is a drag and an unfortunate aspect of rental life, but there are some simple and smart steps you can take to ensure that these funds come happily back to your bank account.
When Moving In
It’s wise to take a lot of pictures and take careful note of the condition of your new apartment before bringing your belongings in. Are the window coverings new? Any stains on the carpet? Check the bathroom and kitchen cabinets for any sign of wear and tear, mold, or damage, and get some snaps of anything wrong.
Documenting these issues now and sharing them with your landlord or leasing agent will save you hassle down the road and keep you from getting charged for things that aren’t your fault.
Keep It Clean
You and your household might not be the neatest folks in your apartment complex but keeping your place clean is crucial for getting your deposit back. But if you develop a cleaning schedule when you move in and stick to it, you won’t be struggling to do a bunch of heavy-duty dirty work when it’s time to move out.
Appliances like ovens and fixtures like the sinks and toilets are much easier to clean if you don’t let dirt build up. Using the right cleaners is important – some grocery store products can cause noxious fumes or burn your skin.
If you leave behind an appalling mess for the complex, they’ll be happy to charge you cleaning fees to take care of it, so just get into a regular vibe with housework to keep your place looking great.
The Floor is (Not) Lava
One of the main ways landlords can penalize your security deposit is if the floor coverings are stained or damaged. If you live in a place with new carpet, then you’ll want to invest in some area rugs to prevent damage in high-traffic areas.
If you like to host parties, it’ll pay to take some extra steps to protect your carpeting, like plastic tarps, vinyl sheeting, or rubber mats.
For those who have tile, vinyl, or laminate flooring in their apartments, it’s smart to sweep and mop to avoid letting dirt build up. Check frequently for stubborn stains, gouges, or signs of looseness so you can fix those issues quickly.
Pet owners specifically need to stay on top of the condition of the floors. While accidents happen, most can be removed completely if you act fast. Spot wet vacs and specialty pet-mess cleansers are a must-have if you’ve got fur babies.
Watch the Walls
Most rental apartments in Lubbock come with bare white walls. If you love that gallery wall look or just love wall-mounted display shelves, you’ll need to consider repairing holes left behind before your final inspection.
It’s not hard to fill and smooth over minor wall damage, and white touch-up paint can be easily found at your local hardware store. You can also avoid these marks completely by using alternate methods to display your favorite art, like hooks held with a strip of removable glue. These new innovations are surprisingly strong and come in a huge variety of sizes and finishes to match your décor.
Sites like Pinterest will have loads of clever ideas on how to decorate your apartment without leaving behind reasons to deduct from your deposit.
Pack It In, Pack It Out
Probably the most important thing to do with the goal of getting back your security deposit is to leave nothing behind when you move out. Trash, old furniture, broken electronics – take that stuff and recycle it or throw it away as soon as you can.
Leaving trash behind can attract bugs and make your apartment smell like garbage – huge reasons to charge you a fat fee. Cleaning everything out completely will also help you make sure that there are no stains, wall damage, or other nasty leftovers for your complex when it does their final inspection.
Many of the most desirable apartments in Lubbock charge a healthy security deposit – but you can get that sweet money back to spend on much more fun things with just a little planning and some strategic elbow grease.