Fall 2014-Best Practices and Tips for Renter

1.    Return your Information check-in sheet on time.
The completed Information check-in sheet is due no later than 7 days from move in.  Completing and returning this form protects your security deposit.  If you do not return the form to your landlord it will be presumed that everything is in good condition when you assumed possession of the apartment.  Be sure to make a copy of the completed form for yourself.
We also recommend you take & keep photos of the property when you move in to record condition.
Continue reading

Move In/Out Tips

Move In Tips

Change your address with your accounts…utilities, previous landlord, subscriptions, post office, etc.

Schedule necessary appointments with cable television or satellite television, If unsure of services needed/included ask your landlord.
Test everything.  Ensure all the appliances are in working order, including the refrigerator, stove, faucets, air conditioner, heater, toilet, shower, washer and dryer.
Remember to turn in your Check-in form to the landlord and include any damaged broken items on the Check-in form. You have 7 days from the day you receive the keys to complete and turn in this form to your landlord.  If you don’t return the completed form, the assumption is there were no damages when you assumed residence.

Re-read your lease documents and the rules and regulations so you’re sure of when rent is due, where to pay it, when quiet hours begin, recycling programs, trash pickup schedule, guest policies, bike storage, etc.

Complete a maintenance request for any repairs needed, copy and give original to your landlord.
The Check-in form is not a maintenance request, it is documentation of the condition of the apartment at move-in that is retained until you move out.

Be a good neighbor from day one.

Move Out Tips

Give proper notice to the landlord that you will be leaving, check your lease for the time frame, 30 days, 60 days, etc.

Provide your forwarding address to your landlord in ensure the return of your security deposit.

Cancel or change your utilities.

Remove all staples and nails you’ve placed into the walls, ceilings, or doors of the apartment

Ask your landlord if he/she has a list of items that need to be cleaned for check out walk thru.   Remember to clean out the fridge, wipe out the oven, clean out cupboards, wipe out the dishwasher, clean toilets, sinks, bathtubs and closets and sweep and vacuum.  You want to leave your apartment in the best condition possible so you can get your security deposit back.

Replace all burned out light bulbs. If light bulbs were there when you moved in, they need to be there and working when you move out.

Don’t forget to clean and empty out your storage or garage unit if provided with one before vacating.

Set an appointment to do a walk-through of your apartment.  You will be asked to sign off on any damages the landlord identifies.

Take date-stamped photos or video of your apartment after you move out so you have documentation of the condition you left it in.

Guide to Subleasing Your Apartment

You may need to sublet your apartment if you plan on moving before your current lease expires. Subleasing your place can be difficult and time consuming and it’s important to know how to sublet an apartment legally to avoid problems with your landlord.

Here are some things you should consider before subleasing:

  • If you are currently in a lease, check first with your landlord to see if they allow sublets and if there is a fee to subletting.  Some leases may contain a clause that specifically prohibits subleasing or unauthorized tenants.  Special written permission may be required from the landlord.
  • If you have roommates, be sure to discuss the idea of subleasing with them.  The landlord will need their permission.
  • Find out from the landlord their subletting policies, if the landlord or you will do the showing and advertising.   As a reminder , you as the tenant will be responsible for all costs of subletting.
  • Understand that the terms you were subject to under the original lease will also apply to the tenants who sublease from you.
  • Remember that in a sublease you will still be held to the contract as well as the sublettor, and that you may and could be responsible for all damage and any unpaid rent at the end of the lease term.
  • Have friends or roommates with you when you show your apartment to potential subletters-for safety measures, don’t show to strangers by yourself.
  • The landlord may ask you to have potential candidates contact the landlord, and frequently will require both an application be completed and a credit report obtained on the applicant desiring to sublease.

7 Tips for Keeping Your Apartment Warm

A few pointers on staying warm in your college apartment, from a college renter.

1. Plastic over windows – An easy and inexpensive way to keep heat in your room rather than allowing it to escape through the windows, after all you are paying for it so you might as well try to keep it inside! These kits can be purchased at a local hardware store, or you can take the do-it-yourself approach…all you need is plastic, strong tape, and a hair dryer.

2. Mini space heater – Warm up your room before bedtime with an energy efficient mini space heater. Let it run for about 30 minutes to warm your room.

3. Draft snake – Add a creative touch to your apartment plus a little bonding time with your roomies by making your own draft snakes. Check out Pinterest for some ideas on how to insulate your apartment from drafts. Sand, rice, or dry beans can be used as the stuffing, just be careful not to get the draft snake wet.

4. Switch the ceiling fans to turn the opposite way – Push the warm air towards you.

5. After using the oven, leave the door open – A great way to let the heat out of the oven and warm your apartment on a cold day. Keep an eye on curious pets.

6. Close storm windows – If your apartment has windows that open, be sure all outside storm windows are closed and the inside window is closed tightly shut and locked.

7. Close outside doors – Be sure all outside doors are closed, and if there’s a gap at the bottom that lets in a draft, ask your landlord to place weather stripping on the door.

Subletting-Did you know!

Did you know if you sublet your apartment you will still be on the lease?

Even though you will not be living in the apartment you will still be on the lease.  If your sublettor does not pay the rent or damages the apartment, you will be responsible to pay.

Continue reading