As promised in my last post, I thought I’d sprinkle some knowledge to ease the newbies through the process of moving. Everyone would like to think landlords are fair and just but that’s just naïve. Don’t get me wrong. There are some fair and nice landlords. If this sounds like yours, count your lucky stars. Most are like the landlord that I recently had to deal with. These kind of landlords tend to try to bully their way in avoiding being accountable and honest. Some landlords take advantage of your desire to move out to attempt to pull a fast one. With these tips, you will be able to deal with even the worst of slumlords during the move out process.
Try to make as many interactions in writing as possible. This may seem like overkill but it will end up saving your butt in the long run. Having everything in writing helps ensure that everything can be recounted accurately.
For example: Over the phone, my property manager and I confirmed an agreement in regards to fees that were owed. The deal ensured the fees were no longer outstanding.Yet, when she sent me the breakdown for my account, she included these fees as still being owed. Via email, she tried to back out of this deal and state ” that conversation could have possibly occurred”. If I wasn’t dealing with my landlord via writing following that phone call, the landlord would have been able to renege on the deal.
Ensure you are always transparent with your landlord with your upcoming plans. If you have a lease expiring and know you won’t renew it, ensure you advise you landlord as soon as possible. It’s best to give the landlord at least 30 days notice. By being transparent you can avoid the landlord trying to hold you accountable for loss income if they were expecting you to stay on.
Know your lease! Don’t let your landlord attempt to tell you what you are and aren’t accountable for. By knowing exactly what you signed for, you ensure that you aren’t doing any more or less than what was agreed upon legally. Also, your lease breaks down what was agreed on and what was provided at move in.
Example: My building was bought by new management after my lease expired. The new management tried to state that I never paid last month’s deposit at the beginning of my lease. My lease was able to confirm all funds provided to ensure I get a proper refund.
Keep everything! This includes rent receipts, notices from your landlord, and all documentation you provide the landlord/management. It may seem annoying to keep every receipt but this may prove to be useful in regards to late fees owed, outstanding rent, and showing payment patterns
Remember, this is a business. You may chat with your landlord on a regular basis and get to know one another. That is great to build a relationship. Just know at the end of the day, the landlord tenant relationship is a business. Your rent provides income to your landlord which allows him/her to maintain their properties and finances. Don’t forget that
Don’t be afraid to go to court. As daunting as this may seem, sometimes with the worst slumlords it is necessary. By following steps 1-5, you should be all set if things escalate to court. I’ll always suggest you try your best to settle amicably. Yet, don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. If you paid a security deposit, don’t be afraid to request it back. That’s your money! Situations like that may need to be handled by a third party in the courts.
Remain calm and professional. Even if situations escalate, don’t allow yourself to get out of character. No need to antagonize an already heated situation. Continue to document everything and if necessary escalate.
Take pictures once you have moved out. This is to ensure that your security deposit is safe. You don’t want to receive a notice stating you are only getting 25% of your security deposit for damages that you know weren’t there at the time of move out. Pictures help protect you and support your word that you left the apartment in good condition.
Hopefully, this helps you! I was always aware of the need to document my business dealings. Yet, this last move showed how important it was. Following these steps have allowed me to successfully move out of my last place despite false statements from new management. When you have proof on your side, it is easier to ensure you come out on top. These tips should help reduce the already stressful task of moving. Don’t be afraid to print this out and save it in your records. Trust me, you’ll thank me! 🙂