Apartment Move-Out Checklist

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The paradox of apartment living is that even though you may spend years in your apartment, one day, you may need to leave it — as if you were never there. In the time you live in your apartment, your life fills every square inch of it. Yet when it’s time for a relocation, you have to take your belongings with you. Not only do you need to make sure that you get back your security deposit, but you also owe it to the next tenants to provide them with a clean slate they can use to fill with their own lives. Part of this process may include hiring a moving company and finding quality movers to help you relocate. However, in addition to making a plan for moving all of your belongings out of your apartment, it’s essential to make a plan for addressing everything you need to do to make sure your apartment is in the best possible shape when you finally and literally close the door on that chapter of your life.

Before you get started boxing your belongings and making arrangements for your move, it’s important to have a list of all the tasks you need to complete. This can be either a list your landlord gave you or a checklist like the one below. Before you move out of your apartment, make sure to give it a good cleaning — including painting over any scuff marks on the walls, washing the windowsills and replacing any burnt-out light bulbs. In the kitchen, you’ll need to clean out the refrigerator as completely as you can, in addition to cleaning the oven. Make sure you sweep behind the oven, refrigerator and all other appliances. When you clean the bathrooms, be sure to disinfect the sinks and scrub the grout in the shower or bathtub. Even something as simple as failing to remove spots on the bathroom mirror can prevent you from recovering your security deposit. Thus, it’s important to be as thorough as possible when cleaning your apartment and removing your items.

Given how much work is involved to get your apartment back into move-in condition for the next tenants, it helps to have a checklist you can follow to confirm everything gets done. The checklist below can provide you with a framework for everything you’ll need to do — from cleaning all of your rooms to scheduling a final walkthrough and more.

Author bio: Julie Scott is Content Marketing Manager at American Apartment Owners Association and has over 20 years of experience in the landlord industry. American Apartment Owners Association is the largest landlord association in the country. AAOA’s mission is to provide superior property management services including tenant screening, credit checks and landlord forms. 


Checklist courtesy of American Apartment Owners Association

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