Have you ever been a renter?
If so, did you ever have trouble with your landlord saying you owed him a bunch of money for damages when you moved out? Well, let me give you some professional advice that will save you a ton of money.
- Take large numbers of pictures during your move-in inspection and the day you move out
Also, remember to take notes in a journal or on each picture to remind yourself what the pictures each meant to show. This way you will have a good visual to show the court if needed, and a written reminder of what you personally witnessed. Do not rely on the kindness of your landlord or management company representative, as they do not have your best interests at heart.
- Fill out both move-in and move-out checklists thoroughly
If you are not given a checklist, then make your own handwritten list, and write down everything that needs to be fixed. Make sure you give a copy to the landlord or management representative, too. If you do not have any witnesses at your move-in or move-out, you should also get a signature on the checklists to verify that it was received.
- Make sure it all gets fixed before you move in
If they won’t fix it, then make sure that fact is written down and signed by each party or don’t move in! Otherwise, it may be used against you in court. Accepting that you may need to do some cleaning or even painting before move-in is one thing, but accepting damage to the home or apartment is something completely different. It may cost you money in the long run.
Your best offense is a good defense. Nobody is your friend when it comes to money issues. When in doubt, don’t take it on alone, call an attorney. They can point you in the right direction.