Apartment Woes

Photo Credit: Alex Dram via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alex Dram via Compfight cc

My weekend has sped on right by and all the time was mostly spent at my old apartment painting it back to its original color. When we first moved in we decided to paint a bit so that it could really feel like home. It was the first time that we had lived together and we really wanted to make it feel like ours. Fast forward three years later and it’s been a lovely home but now we’re in our own house. Unfortunately it also means that we have to paint it back to its original color to avoid big fat fees. No matter what though we’re not getting our entire security deposit back for sure.

The good part about this is that we have extraordinary good timing on when we decided to buy our home. The management announced that they are planning to do renovations to the entire complex and raise the rent by 30%. This means that we would have probably tried to move out anyway as it wouldn’t be a very affordable rent. They are offering a discount of some sort to current residents if they want to continue renting later on, but I doubt it would offset the price increase. Long time residents that took advantage of rent control are most likely priced out now and will definitely be moving. Rent control is something that is in place to protect renters. The leasing office can only increase your rent by so much if you continue to stay there. We’ve seen a lot of other residents already starting to move out too.

Hopefully the renovations don’t mean that they will nickel and dime us for every little thing. Moving out of an apartment will always ding your wallet and you never get your full security deposit back honestly. With renovations in the near future I wonder if they will charge us for items that they normally wouldn’t have? There are a few things we can do to try to get as much of our security deposit back.

Spackle in holes
There are bound to be a ton of holes from hanging art work and possibly from a cable company setting up wires. We had a lot of small holes from art work and then a few bigger ones from the cable company. Spackling is pretty simple to do and is inexpensive to buy.

Paint it back
Spending the entire weekend painting the apartment back to white was not my idea of fun. I don’t regret painting it but we were seriously wondering if we should’ve just let the apartment people handle it instead. It took 2 coats and more in some places to get it back to white. We only painted the apartment a light blue in one room and a beige in another. Not very dark colors but it takes a lot to get it back to white. It could use a third coat in some places, but we’ve done the best we could for now. They paint it every single time before anyone can move in anyway. We’re still going to get charged for paint though because there are always places where the wall got dirty! It’s the biggest scam for apartment living since you can’t not get the walls dirty at all.

Replace any small uncleanable items
We like to cook a lot and the stove burner covers were pretty much goners. We’ve tried to scrub them and get them clean but they never look like new. To avoid a charge we just bought new ones to replace them.

Clean it up
We’re not going to do a crazy clean where every corner will be sparkling, but we’re going to make sure its clean enough. They probably bring in a cleaning company but it doesn’t hurt to go over the place and make sure its not too dirty. Makes a better impression and hopefully result in less charges.

Be nice to maintenance
I got to know a lot of the maintenance guys while I was living there. Enough to recognize them and to for them to recognize me. Some I would have conversations with and others just a hello. It’s always good to know these guys because they will tell you things that management won’t bother unless you ask about it. We found out that complimentary carpet cleaning was offered but unfortunately didn’t have a chance to take advantage of it before moving. Wouldn’t work well enough since we were in the middle of packing and boxes were covering the carpet.


I’m dreading getting back the list of charges that they took out of our security deposit. We lived there for three years so there’s a good amount of wear and tear. My last apartment management office actually pro-rated the painting cost by the amount of time I had been there. I doubt many management offices do that. The worst part about apartment living is that they charge for everything.

How do you handle apartment charges from moving out?


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