First Tip – Make sure that the lease has a written description that explains what has to happen to receive a full refund of your security deposit. If not, than ask the landlord to type out a description of what is required to get a 100% refund. For instance, can you rent a rug doctor and steam clean your apartment, or do you have to hire a professional carpet cleaning company, or the company that they use? Can you paint the rooms or do you have to hire a professional to paint the apartment? Can you repair and nail holes you made to hang pictures or do you have to hire a professional company to make the repairs? Do not accept a verbal agreement from the landlord, it has to be in a document that both of you sign and date to protect both parties.
Second Tip – Now that you are ready for a walk through the apartment in order for you take possession of the unit. Make sure you have your digital camera with you, extra batteries, and an extra tape or flash card. With your digital camera make sure to look at all walls, ceilings, flooring, and appliances in the unit. Let's start with the walls, if there is a mark, a hole, faded paint, or dirt on the wall make sure that you have a good picture of the area and the room it was in and see if they are going to repair those issues before your move in date and if not make sure you have a detail list and pictures of how the place looked before you moved in. Make sure on the ceilings that there is no water stains, holes, or marks on them. Whether the floor has carpeting, wood, tile, or vinyl, make sure there are no spots, tears, holes, or discoloration on them. On the appliances, sinks, stools, and tubs or showers that there are no scratches, rust spots, dents, or cracks. If there is anything that has a problem in that apartment make sure to get more than one picture of each issue and make sure that the person who is doing the walk through with you writes down exactly what each item is and that on the document it states that you are not be responsible for the items listed on the document, then make sure that both of you sign and date the document.
Third Tip – Make sure that you pay your rent before the due date or on the due date, that you put your trash into the proper disposal place and any holes, marks, dirt or stains that you made while you were living there are repaired before you do a walk through when you are ready to move. Be kind to your landlord on the phone or in person, kindness goes a long way in negations. Make sure to keep good records of when you made a call to the landlord to get something fixed. Your records should include date, time, who you spoke to, description of the problem, when they were going to look at the problem, who looked at the problem, date and time problem was fixed, and was it to your satisfaction. If all fails hire an Attorney.