It’s that time again — peak moving season! Summer is fast approaching and people are gearing up to move. Personally, my current lease ends in July and I can’t wait to be in a new space! Renting apartment units has been a learning experience for me. I have dealt with constant noise, was charged as a holdover tenant, and wasn’t given my full deposit back. So, I wanted to share these experiences and how to avoid them!
Read Your Lease
Yeah, I said it and yeah I know it’s long. But read it. There’s important information in there, who would have thought? Like when you’re supposed to notify your apartment if you will be renewing or moving. Something I failed to do the first time around. The sad part is, I knew better. I had just taken Property I and II. Our first final was heavy on landlord tenant law.
But there it was, right there in paragraph 3. I had to “give at least 60 days’ written notice of termination or intent to move-out.” Since I didn’t, my lease converted to a month to month tenancy at a SIGNIFICANTLY higher rate. I got GOT and it was my own fault.
Know Your Rights
I experienced constant noise at my previous apartment. And I’m not talking about regular noise. I can deal with that. This music was LOUD. I mean subwoofers, studio session, tear da club up loud. Like Meek Mill screaming on a track loud. So loud, my vents were SHOOK. LITERALLY. I recorded it lol.
If you have this problem, be sure to look into local noise ordinances. And press the issue! Show your leasing office that you are informed and know your rights. They will be way more compliant.
Know your rights when it comes to your security deposit too. The law will vary across jurisdictions, but where I live the landlord has 15 days after the tenant vacates to return the security deposit. Of course, they have to know where to send it, so be sure to provide them with an updated address. Also something I failed to do, so they sent it to the apartment unit I had just moved out of.
In addition, landlords here cannot charge you for “normal wear and tear.” Which is why I was surprised to see that I was only getting back a portion of my security deposit. When I asked why that was, my landlord replied that I was being charged a standard cleaning fee. Say what, girl? I literally got on my hands and knees to scrub out stains in that carpet before I left. But the ledger she sent me said “damage” next to “carpet replacement/repair.” What is there to replace?
I decided not to press the issue though. Here, housing laws favor landlords. Most security deposit cases are ruled in the landlord’s favor, so I chose not to waste the time, money or energy to dispute it. I’m convinced it’s a way landlords cheat people out of their money.
So, moral of the story — read and be proactive. A lesson that can apply to many things in life. Stay safe and happy moving!
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