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Rental Handbook: Moving Out

Welcome to the seventh installment of my comprehensive 'Rental Handbook' aimed at helping renters (and landlords) in the Boston area understand the rights and obligations of tenants (sometimes referred to as renters or lessees). In this Handbook, I will approach issues that you may face in dealing with a rental in the city, or in the surrounding towns of Newton and Brookline.

Before you move out, you should consider scheduling an appointment with the landlord for an inspection of your apartment. This may help prevent future disputes with your landlord about apartment damage. Review the Apartment Condition Statement if you gave the landlord a security deposit, and note any damage you did so that you can anticipate the expense. You may choose to get any damage repaired so that you can control the cost and timing of the repair.

If you're moving large pieces of furniture, make sure you use moving pads or other items to protect the flooring--the last thing you want to do is scratch the woods floors as you're leaving the place forever.

On the day you leave, be sure to clean the apartment fully (including the fridge, stove, and shower). You also may want to take and date pictures of the condition of the apartment at the moment you move out. These photographs may help resolve security deposit disputes.

If you paid the landlord a security deposit or last month's rent, leave the landlord your forwarding address so s/he can mail you any interest you are owed.

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