3 Tips for a Successful Apartment Walkthrough

An apartment walkthrough gives a landlord and tenant the chance to assess the condition of an apartment before moving in. The apartment must be returned in this condition, with the exception of any "normal wear and tear." Each state defines wear and tear differently, but all recommend a walkthrough as a way to assess damage.

1. Get a Template

You can download a walkthrough template from most state rental law websites. If you are not having luck finding a state-specific list, you can use this one from ConsumerAffairs.com

2. Write it Down

Do not simply verbally confirm the condition of an apartment. Write down each and every issued discussed. If possible, take pictures of any major damage to record exactly how the apartment appeared when you moved in.

3. Know Rental Laws

State rental laws govern when and how you get your security deposit returned to you. Many landlords do not even know the real laws regarding the practice. It is very common for tenants to simply accept a landlord's assessment and not fight to receive a deposit back. When a tenant knows his or her rights and uses this as leverage, the tenant is more likely to receive a full refund of the deposit.

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