Now is the time for many exchange students to leave their place after an amazing semester abroad. If you’re one of them, you’d better read this. We’ll go through what you need to do before moving out to ensure you get your deposit back.
Start preparing well in advance
Make sure to remind the landlord well in advance about your move-out and agree on an exact date for moving out.
If the landlord needs a new tenant to take over the lease after you, consider looking around among your network or friends if somebody would like to take it over. You can also sign up to our Ambassador Program to earn some extra money when searching for your successor!
Be helpful and accommodating to your landlord when it comes to showing the place for potential new tenants.
Also consider if you’ve done a lot of shopping during your stay abroad. You might need to buy an extra suitcase to fit in all your new purchases. If that’s the case, pre-book it in advance with your airline or search for a shipping company that will ship it cheaply for you.
Clean up that mess!
Start cleaning early and it won’t feel like such a burdensome task, tick off a room per day. Ideally you should start well in advance and don’t leave it to the last minute. There will surely be a lot of farewell parties that will keep you busy the last few days, so prepare for the unexpected and start early to avoid stress.
Make sure to clean properly, especially the bathroom, kitchen, and importantly, the oven. Many people tend to forget the oven or are just plain lazy about it, but we’ve experienced that some landlords have charged students for professional cleaning. Ovens are particularly tiresome and tricky to clean well, so get yourself some good detergent and ask your parents how to do it properly if you don’t already know
Throw out stuff you don’t need, or sell it on Craigslist or whatever people use in your city. Make sure to bring all your stuff out of the apartment with you. If you have stuff that you want to leave behind which the future tenant might appreciate, just ask the landlord about their policy first so they don’t feel that you’ve left junk behind or charge you for disposal.
Leave the place as you found it, or better yet, in the condition that you’d love to find the place in! If you’ve caused any damages, make sure to communicate with your landlord about them and agree on how to fix or settle it. The last thing to do before you move out is to make sure that all surfaces and floors are clean when leaving.
Get your deposit back
Photograph or record the place before moving out, so the landlord can’t accuse you of leaving it in worse condition. Go through the apartment with your landlord before leaving it to make sure that you agree that it’s in proper condition.
You might try negotiate with the landlord to use the deposit as the last month’s rent if they agree, but it’s totally up them. It’s worth asking, but don’t get your hopes up! If they don’t let you, make sure to stay on good terms with the landlord by paying the last month’s rent as you usually would. Try to get the deposit back before you leave for your home country, if not, make sure they have all your account details and if the payment is being sent abroad tell them to use Transferwise for the cheapest and easiest way to do it. You’ll usually get it back when you return your apartment keys, so make sure that all bills are paid before that.
Get ready to go home!
So in essence, plan things in advance, communicate with your landlord, make sure to pay everything and you should be all set to get your deposit back! Once you’re done, be awesome and make sure to leave a review of the place on Student Mundial so other students like you can find out how the place is from your point of view!