A number of renters are moving this month for school or otherwise. Upon moving in, Brenda Konkel, Executive Director of the Tenant Resource Center, suggests filling out the “check in” sheet – required in Madison – to list issues with the apartment. That way you are not held liable for these issues moving out.
Konkel also says take photos and videos of the “new” rental property if possible. She suggests getting a disinterested witness – not relatives or roommates – to walk through with you to verify the state of the apartment and its cleanliness; try to get a written statement from them.
Upon moving out, landlords are legally required to be specific about deductions from the security deposit and are not allowed to charge for their own labor.
Beware a landlord charging you for carpet cleaning. According the Center, “It is the landlord’s responsibility to prove that the carpet was soiled or stained beyond normal wear and tear-and not already in that condition when the tenant moved in-and then deduct the actual cost of cleaning from the deposit if appropriate.”
Landlords have 21 days to return the security deposit.