What can your landlord deduct from your deposit?
What your deposit could be kept for
The deposit is your money. Your landlord should provide evidence of their costs if they decide to make deductions.
Reasonable deductions could include:
damage to the property
Your landlord shouldn’t deduct money from your deposit if you breached terms of your tenancy agreement, but this didn’t cost them money. For example, they shouldn’t deduct money just because you smoked or kept a pet in the property if this didn’t cost them any extra money.
Cleaning is the most common reason for deductions from deposits. You only need to clean the property to the same standard as it was when you moved in. You can do this yourself or use a professional cleaning company.
Your landlord may use your deposit to cover damage you caused in the property. They should only charge you a reasonable amount on a ‘like for like’ basis. For example, if you caused damage to a cheap old bed you shouldn’t be asked to pay for the cost of a high quality or brand new replacement.
How much should you be charged for damage?
Don’t agree to deductions if you think they’re unreasonable. Your landlord should have evidence to prove their costs. They should consider how much damage there is and the age and condition of the item before it was damaged.
How to get your security deposit back
That wasn’t the only clue. A typed addendum to the original lease included an over-the-top list of rules, including requirements to rinse dirty dishes, run the bathroom fan for 30 minutes after every shower, and never wear shoes indoors. Houseplants needed two drip trays each, plus a cork mat. Spilled liquids should be wiped up immediately. The couple carefully followed the rules and cleaned everything listed in their lease.
After they moved out, they were surprised to receive a typed, three-page letter that described in narrative detail what wasn’t clean. It’s not uncommon for renters and landlords to dispute the level of cleanliness after moving out. After all, there are many ways to interpret “clean” and normal wear-and-tear, but this letter seemed extraordinary.
The stove needed three hours of cleaning, the landlord wrote, which involved two doses of oven cleaner. “I started calling it ‘The Beast,’” she said. She said she found nuts and seeds in the dishwasher filter tray, and there was lint on the bathroom fan cover. Not to mention the dryer duct held bobby pins, a guitar pick, and two one-dollar bills.
The letter ended with a proclamation: she and her husband spent 16.5 hours cleaning the apartment after they’d had professional cleaners clean the place, plus they spent 14 hours cleaning the storm windows (a process she described as “grueling”). She said she needed $587.50 to cover her time, a calculation that probably wouldn’t hold up in court, because landlords can’t typically charge for their time. At that point, Joe says, he wasn’t expecting to get his full security deposit back, even though he was sure he’d met her requirements.
“We lived in the apartment for five years,” he says, “and she was trying to charge us for normal wear and tear. She said things should be better in better condition than when we moved in, but she was talking about things that get used every day.”
How to Organize Your Move
A binder specifically designated for your move will save you time, energy and possibly money. Create your binder at least two months before your move, and organize it into the following categories:
Checklists – Find an online printable that you can use as a guide to know what needs to be done before, during and after your move.
Utilities – Use this section to keep track of utility contracts, paperwork and more. List contact information and appointments, and make appointments well in advance.
Loan Documents – For easy access and reference, you can keep your loan documents in this section until after the move. After the move, file them in your home office.
Receipts – This section is for any purchases that will be made in reference to the move or your house. For example, keep any receipts for any fixture purchases like a faucet. If something doesn’t fit, or you need to return or exchange it for any reason, you can look here for the receipt.
Movers – Keep your moving company or truck rental contract and contact numbers in this section.
Builder – Place any contact numbers for your builder, warranties and paperwork in this section during your move.
Inventory List – Search online for “moving inventor list,” print one out and fill it out.
Schedules – This section is for appointments, moving company schedules and more. It will be easier to create a Word document calendar, print it out and place it in the binder. You can document your house closing appointment, walk-through, mover’s schedule, utility hookup times and any other important information.
Create a moving legend using circular sticker labels to represent designated areas in the house where each moving box will go. Use color-coded card-stock sheets to match the circle labels, and hang them on each doorway. This will show the movers where the boxes go, and will help alleviate any confusion as to where to put the boxes, saving you a lot of unpacking time.
Once you create a moving legend, photocopy a few sheets and place them throughout the house and on the front, back and garage doors. Purchase self-adhesive moving labels, and write down the contents of each box. Place a colored sticker on the label and top of the box, so you can see which room it goes in as you carry it.
Pack your belongings in like-sized boxes you can purchase online or at home improvement stores, and avoid packing loose items in the moving truck to save room and time. When packing, you may move from room to room, take a day off or get sidetracked. By storing packing tools together in one basket, you will be more efficient with your time, as well as save yourself from searching for lost packing tools. Add all necessary packing items to the basket, such as labels, tape, markers and scissors. When you move from room to room, just grab the basket and go.
CLEANING MARKETING: THE COMPLETE GUIDE
By now, you’ve probably realized that you can’t grow your business on referrals alone. This is why you need cleaning marketing. Trying to grow your cleaning business on referrals alone is like wishing for the rain to wash your dirty car. Only it’s sunny outside. Also, you live in the desert.
We’ll go over things like:
Cleaning Marketing Basics
Digital And Print Marketing Strategies
How To Sell Your Cleaning Services Better
How To Consistently Win More Cleaning Clients
Above all other strategies, keep doing an awesome job!
When you commit 100% to quality, your clients…
Feel Like They’re Getting Full Value
Are More Inclined To Refer You To Others
Will Keep Asking You To Come Back, Again And Again!
How to Ask for Cleaning Referrals (the Right Way)
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get great, long-term clients. Referrals work, because they can shortcut you past new clients’ “trust barrier.” But it can be hard – and even a little scary – to ask for referrals.
Here are some quick tricks to make you requests more successful:
1. Target the right cleaning clients.
Of Your Best Clients, Who Is The Most Ideal?
Who Is The Most Loyal To You?
Who Has Been Your Client For The Longest Time, And Is Interested In Buying More Of Your Services?
2. Choose the right time to ask.
The Best Time To Ask For Referrals (Similar To Asking For Online Reviews) Is When Your Client Is Most Excited About You.
Right After You Do The Best Job You’ve Ever Done For Them, Give It 110% Next Time You Service A Client, And Try Asking For A Referral.
3. Offer an Incentive
Give A Referral Offer To Your Clients. It Can Be A $15 Gift Card Or $15 Off Their Next Service For Every Successful Referral. When You’re Ready To Give Your Clients A Referral Offer, You Can Hand Them Your Magnetic Cleaning Business Card And Watch The Referrals Flow In.
The Ultimate Guide to Apartment Spring Cleaning
You may be that person that absolutely loves to clean, or you may dread just the thought of cleaning your apartment for rent. Well, we are here to help guide you on some useful spring cleaning tips to ensure you don’t freak out and remain calm!
Organize cabinets and drawers – throw away items you never use that serve no purpose.
Clean and scrub down sinks and countertops – make your bathroom look as good as new.
Shine faucets – eliminate hard water spots.
Scrub down the shower and bathtub – eliminate stains.
Wash shower curtain – don’t want mold stains to show. Yuck.
Clean the toilet – yes, it is a must. You don’t want to be that person who is embarrassed to have your guests use your dirty toilet with dark stains.
Clean inside the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer and stovetop
Thoroughly sanitize and disinfect the sink
Scrub down floors if you have tile
Check underneath the refrigerator for crumbs, dirt, bugs etc. and then throw away!
Organize clothes in closet and drawers – make separate bins for keeps, giveaways and trash. It feels good to get rid of things you don’t want anymore!
Wash all bedding with pillow cases- if you never clean your linens, this would be a good time to get proactive and just do it.
If you have kids, clean and sanitize all toys. Who knows what your kids could be touching.
Mattress rotating works wonders – yes, this will prevent unnecessary sagging in the areas you most sleep on. It truly works.
Wipe down television screen entirely, but be careful
Vacuum and dust mop furniture (read these shark vacuum reviews before purchasing what you might think would be a good one. Alternatively, you can also visit this link to see other good vacuum cleaners.)
Clean windows and windowsills
Dust all edges for cobwebs
Vacuum and dust floor and rugs
Throw away all unused magazines and clutter
Make sure all lights are working