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Moving Out Do's and Don'ts

Well, all good things must come to an end! This is especially true if you signed a short term lease. (And students invariably have short term leases.) So assuming that your stay has been a pleasant one, and you're on somewhat good terms with your rental property owner, whatever your rental agreement may be, here's what you can expect:

Be sure to give plenty of apartment notice—30 days is customary, but many management companies are getting on the bandwagon of requiring 60 days. Check your apartment lease, or check with your manager. Regardless of your rental agreement, it’s crucial that you give your apartment notice as well as create an apartment moving out letter.

Clean the place up. Remove nails and spackle over holes. You don't have to shampoo the carpet or repaint unless the place looks like an absolute war zone. Check to see if your rental property owner or the Housing Department at your school has something like an inventory sheet to use as evidence that you've left the place in good shape. (If not, borrow someone's Polaroid to create your own evidence.)

If you're thinking of subletting, check with the rental property owner first to see if a sublease is necessary or even legal. Remember, you're liable for your sublettor's behavior.

Thinking of just up and leaving? DON'T! It's against the law.

Security deposits. A rental property owner can subtract "wear and tear" from your deposit. The rental property owner has 30 days to deal with security deposit matters, so be sure to leave a forwarding address.

If you are leaving on good terms, try to get a written recommendation from your rental property owner to present to another prospective rental property owner as proof of your "good character."

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