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How to Repair a Rental House/Apartment Before Moving Out

How to Repair a Rental House/Apartment Before You Move Out

Moving out of a rental house or apartment is both a frustrating and exciting experience. Exciting is in a way that you are relocating to your dream home and frustrating because you have to do numerous numbers of tasks. 

How do you repair a rental house/apartment before moving out? Before moving out of a rental home, you need to review the rental agreement, talk with your landlord, repair the walls, check the HVAC systems and vents, check the plumbing, clean thoroughly, and document the condition.

Since moving is such a time-consuming and task-intensive process, I would recommend that you get some help moving whether it’s from your family, friends, or a professional moving company, so that you can get all the things on your home or apartment checklist accomplished. It’s always a good idea to hire a professional moving company, as they can help make sure that everything arrives at your new place safely and because no matter where you are located, you can find moving companies in St. Louis, New York City, Los Angeles, and everywhere else in between. The reason why this is so important is that most people focus on the relocation process, one also has to focus on things like repairing the rental house or apartment. You might have double-checked that there is nothing left behind but what about the security deposit. This is the biggest concern that people have when they are moving out and so if you are also trying to get your security back then check out this guide. 

Review the Rental Agreement & Talk with Your Landlord

The first thing to do before moving out is to review the rental agreement. As you should know the terms and conditions that you have agreed to at the time of signing, the notice period, the condition of the apartment that should be at the time of the moving out, and so on. Also, you should know the penalty or security fee, and even though if most of the deposit is non-refundable, it is still your responsibility to leave the home in a good condition. 

Ask your landlord when they will conduct this moving-out inspection. They will walk through your place and will detect things that need to be repaired and replaced. You can discuss the repairs and your plan to do these. If you talk clearly about everything with the landlord then things will become easy for both of you. 

Repair the Walls

Normal wear and tear on the walls are acceptable but if there are holes present in the walls then repair these holes. We all hammer nails on the walls to hang the artwork, paintings, and more, once you remove all the wall decors, the holes appear poor and give the entire room a shabby shape. You need to fix scratches and dents on the walls. You can contact a drywall contractor for it or simply follow the DIY approach. 

Small dents can be fixed easily with quick-dry spackle. The same goes for sunken nails and screws. However, in case it is severe damage to the drywall or door knobs, it is recommended to connect with the experts and make sure you repair the walls to perfection. 

repair rental house apartment moving out


HVAC Systems & Vents

Blame it on your shortcut approach to cleaning or the rising amount of mess in daily households, the air vents, and HVAC systems are prone to get clogged and filthy. You can find a whole range of dust, hair, pollen, and allergens in the vents. It is essential to clean them as early as possible and the approach is easy when it’s only about cleaning. You can perform a simple duct cleaning with the help of a vacuum with a hose attachment, screwdriver, broom, and cleaning brush. 

However, HVAC systems are on whole a piece of complex machinery and have a lot of moving parts. Get it inspected and cleaned every year but when moving out then it is important that it works well and keep the temperature stable inside the home when there is a skyrocketing temperature in summers and a high drop of it in winters.   

For apartments with dryer systems, it is crucial to keep the dryer vent clean. Clogged dryer vents are summed up as a crucial reason for fire accidents in houses. It is noteworthy that you shouldn’t clean the dryer by yourself as it is a risky job. It is best to leave it to the experts and ensure that they do their job diligently.

Check the Plumbing

Plumbing issues are common and especially before moving out, you should be aware of plumbing issues in your apartment or rental house. If there are major issues, depending on the rental agreement you might need an expert to come and fix the problem, or you might just disclose the issue if it was not something that was your fault. However, if there are just minor plumbing issues that you could fix yourself, you should try to do so, as small plumbing problems can be sorted easily on your own. For example, a dripping tap or a leaky shower is easy to fix and all you would need are some washers, a screwdriver, and a wrench. 

A plumbing expert is required not just to detect issues but also to fix them at the right time. So you should check if small things like a dripping faucet or a slow shower drain can be fixed by yourself. Just make sure that when checking plumbing issues, you do not ignore the drains as well as the gutter system. Several issues go unnoticed when you are living in the house but the inspector would be quick to identify them. Especially with plumbing, such issues are important to identify as they can cause serious damage to the foundation of the house altogether. 

Hire an expert to inspect the house on your behalf if you rented a huge house with a handsome security deposit. However, if it was a small studio or apartment, be detailed with your DIY approach. 

repair rental house apartment moving out


Clean Thoroughly

Before repairing, cleaning is important. Your lease agreement has the rules and regulations that what is expected in moving out cleaning so it is time to perform the cleaning job while following all the protocols. This depends on you whether you hire professionals or do it by yourself depending on the time and energy you can put in.

I would start by deep cleaning the carpet. Hopefully, when you stay in an apartment for a long time, you vacuum it regularly. But deep cleaning after a certain time is very important. Hiring professional cleaners for cleaning and repair is a great way. They have the right tools and know the techniques to clean the carpet. 

repair rental house apartment moving out

Get Your House Professionally Cleaned

You should, and if I say so, must hire a professional cleaner to make your rented apartment or house very clean in order to make sure your landlord does not identify any shortcomings in the home. There are professional cleaning agencies that offer a wide range of cleaning services. While hiring these services regularly can help you prevent a messy home right from the start, you can always choose a move-out cleaning service as per your need. 

Moreover, professional handymen or cleaners can save you from a lot of trouble as cleaning a house before moving out is one tedious job. No doubt you would have to spend some money but it will be a wiser decision than losing your entire security deposit. Make sure you choose an affordable cleaning service and get your house thoroughly cleaned.  

Document the Final Condition of Your Rental Home/Apartment

Now, you should document the condition of the home as you are leaving it. You should add what cleaning and repairing services you have hired and how much you have paid for these services. Take some photos as proof of repairing before leaving as this will work as evidence later. Having a document serves your purpose of proving your efforts and intent when it comes to getting your security deposit back. You can satisfy the landlord with some minor repairs and cleaning and ensure that there are no deductions from your security deposit. A house when used for a long time can get dirty and messy in all forms. Make sure you mend and repair it to the finest condition before you hand it over to the landlord. 


As a tenant, it is your responsibility to repair or clean the home and leave it in the same condition as it was before. Besides major repairs, you need to consider minor repairs as well. This is not just courteous, but you also will be able to get your security deposit back. 

Now following the above guide, you can pack up your things and move out of the apartment or rental house with the confidence of getting your refund. It makes perfect sense for the tenant to get professional services and will redeem the house in its old glory. 

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.