Many of us know that wear and tear can happen to your home, even if you take good care of your place. When it’s time to move out, you start to notice all the scuffs on the doorframes, dirty baseboards and endless holes in the wall. You can see your damage deposit slipping away before your eyes.
But don’t worry, this situation is avoidable. Getting your damage deposit back doesn’t have to mean days of scrubbing your apartment top to bottom, but it does mean taking some intentional steps to keep your apartment looking its best.
At Paragon Living, we genuinely want to give you your deposit back when you move out. When we do that, it means the suite has been well cared for and requires minimal repairs to get it ready for the next resident. We want you to get your deposit back as much as you do, so here are some quick tips to get you there.
Read The Lease
You should start thinking about your damage deposit right when you move in, rather than waiting until you move out. Start by reading the lease carefully – it helps explain what you’re responsible for at the time of your move-out and you can check out our YouTube channel to learn more about how to keep your suite in new condition!
The lease also includes any noteworthy rules from the property manager. Once you’ve read the lease, put it in a safe spot where you won’t lose it.
Be Present For Inspections
When you first enter the apartment, a member of the property management team will be with you to conduct a move-in condition report. At Paragon Living, we will be thorough in an attempt to find any remaining flaws which may need to be repaired within your first two weeks of residency. If you spot anything the team has missed, let them know either by pointing it out in your walk-through, or sending them a picture within the first couple days of your residency.
When you’re ready to move out, schedule a final inspection with your property management contact. You will be sent a Move-Out Checklist which will help you prepare for your move-out and give you a list of costs for various damages so there are no surprises on move out day. Your management contact will do a second walk-through with you, and compare the condition your received your suite in, to the condition you are leaving the suite in. The goal is for everything to be in the same condition.
That said, the Residential Tenancies Branch in Manitoba allows for reasonable ‘wear and tear’ of the suite. Discuss with your property manager what is considered wear and tear, and what items would require repair. In the event there are any charges against your damage deposit, the property management team will explain these to you in detail. Lastly, you will be given a copy of your move-out report – regardless of where you are renting, you should always be given a copy when your move-out is complete.
Leave No Trace
Even if you’re consciously avoiding causing damage to the property, it doesn’t mean you can’t decorate your home how you want to. Here are some easy tips to make your apartment looking brand new while making it your own:
- Use adhesive hooks instead of nails when hanging things on the walls
- Put sliders on the bottom of all your furniture
- Be careful when moving things in and out of the apartment. It’s easy to ding a wall or a light fixture
- If you have a pet, train them not to damage floors, baseboards and other features
Talk to your Manager about aesthetic changes
Before making any changes to the aesthetics of your suite, get permission from your property manager. Some management companies will allow you to paint an accent wall, but will require that it is returned to its original colour at the time you move out.
Clean Before You Leave
As the saying goes, always leave something better than how you found it. Your Move-Out checklist will include the cleaning that is required. All this cleaning would have been done before you moved in, and it needs to be completed again as you move out. For example, the appliances should have a deep clean done, with the fridge and stove pulled out from the wall to clean any debris left behind them over the duration of your residency.
Leave time in your moving schedule to allow for cleaning, or clean as you go. If you don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, ask a few friends to join you or hire a cleaning company. Your property manager will often have a recommendation of who they use, and because they use them often, these companies will usually be able to offer you more competitive rates than others.
Being a respectful and helpful resident will go a long way, especially when it comes time to review your suite for damages. Again, normal wear and tear is expected, but it’s important to be responsible and respectful of your space. Once you’ve finished the final inspection with your property manager, remember to leave them a forwarding address where they can send your deposit.
If you’re looking for a new forwarding address, check out our Rentals page to view our current listings.