When it comes to keeping your security deposit, the two things that a landlord will almost always charge you for are holes in the walls and dirty or stained carpets. This is because if the carpets are dirty or stained after you leave, almost no one will want to move in without a carpet cleaning. So if you are renting a home or an apartment, especially if you have pets and children, you will probably always wind up paying for a carpet cleaning after you move. However, there are ways to ensure your landlord won’t charge you for a carpet cleaning if you follow a few basic steps when you move in.
Take Pictures Of The Carpet Before You Move In
There is nothing like getting charged for something that you didn’t damage, so take pictures when you move into an apartment if there are already stains on the carpet. With mobile phones these days, it is really easy to take time-stamped photos and leave them on the phone or store them in your computer. If the landlord comes back later and says that you have to pay to clean stains out of the carpet, you have proof they were there when you moved in. Also, when you take pictures and the landlord knows it, they are much less likely to charge you for a bogus carpet cleaning because they know you are paying attention.
Avoid Apartments And Homes With Brand New Carpeting
While it seems like a good idea to rent a home with brand-new carpeting (especially from a hygienic standpoint) a landlord will be over-protective of their new carpeting and may charge you to clean it whether you have done any damage or not. Carpeting lasts longer when it is professionally cleaned and the landlord will want to use your money to do it after you leave.
You May Want To Clean The Carpet Yourself
A landlord may give you the option of getting the carpet professionally cleaned or let you do it yourself with a rental machine. If this is the case, you can probably find a cheaper deal than what the landlord will charge you – and if you haven’t gotten the carpets really dirty, cleaning a carpet doesn’t require that much effort. If the landlord does insist on charging for cleaning the carpet, make sure you get a receipt. Just because the landlord insists on getting the carpets cleaned, doesn’t mean that they can charge you an unreasonable amount and keep your entire security deposit.
Buy A Mat For High Traffic Areas
If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, chances are the entryway will get dirty from what is dragged in on the soles of people’s shoes. A cheap mat from the hardware store will be much less expensive than paying for a cleaning that could have been avoided by purchasing a ten dollar mat that you can take with you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask people to take their shoes off when they come in from the outside. There’s no reason you should lose your security deposit for the sake of being overly polite to your guests.