Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or closing a chapter on an old one, there are so many logistics when it comes to apartment moves. The excitement of filling up a new space or the stress of needing to move out can often lead to common apartment pitfalls. We are about to share cautionary tales and lessons we’ve learned throughout our 30 + years of 3 Men Movers industry experience to better guide you to knowledgeably handle your apartment move.
Tips for moving into your Dallas apartment
1. Read your lease thoroughly before you sign it
Do not risk skimming this document. Make sure you read every single section of your apartment lease before you sign your name to it. Once you sign your name to it, you are entering a binding contract. This document will outline all of the rules and policies that you are agreeing to for the next 6, 12, 18, or however many months you are going to live at this apartment. The document will set the terms for the length of your lease, the amount and return policy for the deposit, the rules on subleasing, insurance requirements, pet policies, the notice you must leave before vacating the apartment, and much more.
2. Do a walk through with your landlord present upon moving in
By this time you’ll probably have toured the apartment a few times but before you let the movers in, do a walk through with your landlord present. Your landlord may provide a document to notate damages when you move in however, you can also notate them on your own. There will always be little flaws that you will notice. They may be small holes in the wall, paint chips, or possibly even tears in the carpet. Write the points of damage down as you walk through the apartment with your landlord and take photos as well. So what could happen if you don’t notate and make the landlord aware of damage that the apartment incurred before you moved into it? You could lose your deposit in part or completely.
Tips for moving out of your Dallas apartment
1. Make sure you give notice before moving out
As we stated in the first section, make sure you know what the terms are for leaving notice at your apartment rental. For most apartments, the landlord will require that you give 20 days notice before moving out. However, the terms can vary. What are the consequences of not giving notice? You could end up having to pay the following month’s rent.
2. Try to fix any points of damage or wear before you leave
Although normal wear and tear is expected by landlords after a tenant moves out, you’ll want to be on the safe side. If you’ve accidently spilled wine on the carpet, have someone come in and clean it. Or rent the equipment and clean the carpet yourself. If you’ve left paint chips or small holes in the wall attempt to repaint the patches and fill in any holes.
3. Walkthrough with your landlord when moving out of your apartment
This extra step will lessen the chance that your deposit will be held either completely or in part due to damage claims by the landlord. Have them walk through the apartment with you and talk through any points that you see being an issue after you leave the property.
4. Take action if you don’t receive your deposit in due time
The terms of when you will receive your deposit back will be outlined in the lease. It will give you a specific amount of days that your landlord has to send you the deposit or send you a letter explaining specifically why you will not receive the deposit back in part or in full. Kin Oldham, Executive Director of the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas states to “contact the manager” and “establish communication” between both parties. He also states to “ask if it is an oversight” or to ask if the deposit was not returned for another reason.
If you reach out and you don’t receive a response you may be entitled to treble damages, which will award you with triple the amount of the deposit. This is an escalated step and before you take it, attempt to rectify the situation with your apartment’s management.
Moving in and out of apartments can be tricky, but you just have to make sure that you put in the effort and follow these steps to help the process flow smoothly. You should also consult the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas (AAGD), they are an organization that works to protect renters in Texas. If you have any issues with the landlord or property management or want to know more about the rights and responsibilities of renters, consult the AAGD website for more information.