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Tips for Getting your Deposit or Bond Back When Moving

Tips for Getting your Deposit or Bond Back When Moving

When you rent, moving from one place to another can put a lot on your “to do list”. In addition to shopping for a new place to live, signing contracts, and packing, you have to worry about getting your bond back from your current place. Cleaning to ensure you receive your deposit is just one more thing to add to the list of things to do. Go through the list on the lease that outlines your end of the lease cleaning list. That will increase the chances that you get all of your money back. Here are 5 things you can do to clean your home and make sure that you will get that deposit back to invest in your new place.

  1. Use a Professional Exterminator:

Before you start the end of the cleaning process, have an exterminator come in to fumigate your home or apartment. Be sure to do this before the final cleaning so that you can get out the bug spray smell along with any bugs or other critters that might be hiding in the cracks.

  1. Hire a Cleaning Company:

Weigh the pros and cons of the expense of a professional cleaning company versus doing the cleaning yourself. Remember that you already have so much to do and some cleaning can be left to the professionals. Look for a company that specialises in end of lease cleaning jobs, and be sure to give them the cleaning list your landlord gave you. If you don’t hire a cleaning company, you can actually learn their tricks with a quick online search. That will help you clean up for free using their secrets like:

    • Instead of expensive cleaning products that can just mask smells, use all natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and cornstarch.
    • Just a touch of olive oil or baby oil can shine silver appliances right up.
    • Using newspaper on mirrors and glass is cheaper and leaves less dust and residue than paper towels.
    • Clean from the top down and start in the far corner and work your way out.
    • A pumice stone can remove toilet rings.
    • A brillo pad will clean all the soap scum off of shower doors and the tub.
    • A grout cleaner will help tile on the floors, kitchen, and bathroom look brand new.
  1. Pay Attention to the Details:

Refer back to that end of lease cleaning list often to be sure that you are cleaning and paying attention to what is important to your landlord, not just what is important to you. What do they expect you to clean and repair? What do they consider “normal wear and tear”? Take care of all the parts of your rental property including the outside patio or porch, doors, windows, blinds or curtains. Are you expected to clean behind furniture and appliances? Especially if you are taking them with you, be sure that everything is clean so that you aren’t leaving a surprise behind the day you move. Some end-of-lease cleaning and repair hacks include:

  • Buff scuff marks out from floors using a tennis ball.
  • White toothpaste can help smooth out your patches over any holes in the walls. This also helps cover crayon marks on the walls.
  • Grease and burnt-on food in the oven can be removed with baking soda and water.
  • Microwaving lemon juice and the rinds in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes will loosen any grime or crusted on food in the microwave and make it easy to wipe clean.
  • Ask for help from the maintenance department if your apartment complex has one.
  1. Clean the Carpets and Upholstery:

If you have carpet, be sure to either rent a carpet cleaning machine or have them professionally deep cleaned. Freshly shampooed carpets make a huge difference in a clean room for the fresh smell in addition to removing any stains. The same goes for couches and other upholstery like curtains and any other fabrics that you are leaving in the apartment. Work on spot cleaning any stains too.

  1. Plan Ahead to Give Yourself Plenty of Time: Don’t wait until the last minute to do all the cleaning. You should plan ahead and do the cleaning in stages and maybe even start to clean a few months in advance so that you can get a progressively better more intense clean each time. Start decluttering and give away or throw away things you aren’t keeping. It also puts less stress on you as it gets closer to moving time when you have to pack and do so many other things.


When you are done, be sure to take pictures of every room. Keep them on file and then follow up with your landlord. If you run into any issues getting your bond or security deposit back, ask for details of the problem in writing. Also ask if you can correct or fix anything that could be preventing you from getting your deposit money back.

Images Credit: Pinterest


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Shari McConahay

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