Let’s face it, when you have a pet, a lot can happen to your home. And if you live in a rented apartment and want to keep your security deposit, eliminating pet dander and other pet-related stains can be stressful. As experts in apartment rentals ourselves, we have put our top tips together so you can keep your home spotless (and also recover a portion of your security deposit).
What is Pet Rent?
If you have a pet and the apartment is pet-friendly, landlords or rental companies will often charge your pet rent for your four-legged friend. This is a recurring monthly fee charged for housing your pet in your apartment. Similar to the rent you pay, this is non-refundable. Landlords might also charge a one-time pet fee along with your security deposit. This is non-refundable and usually does not cover any damages done to the apartment by your pet.
What to Do When You Move Out
Start by carefully assessing any damage to your apartment your pet may have caused – whether it be a deep clean or a carpet stain. Also, decide which costs and tasks you can reasonably take on yourself. Many rental companies would prefer you didn’t go on a “fix-it” or repainting crusade yourself, since they have standards and repair consistencies they need to maintain. Check with your landlord or community manager on your lease terms, rules, and restrictions.
Eliminating Pet Stains
If you have a puppy, accidents happen frequently. To prevent stains and lingering odors, you want to try and address the accidents as soon as they happen so that the stain doesn’t set.
- Clean up as much of the mess as possible before doing any cleaning.
- Blot it (don’t rub) with a wet towel using lukewarm or cool water, (not hot).
- For urine, use an absorbent rag or paper towel to blot up as much as possible.
- Use a minimal cleaning product (Spot Shot or Resolve work best).
- Allow the cleaner to sit on the stain for a minute or so. Blot up the water and then vacuum when dry to fluff up the carpet fibers again.
If you prefer natural cleaners, a combination of vinegar and water works as well. Mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of water. Blot on the spot, then sprinkle with baking soda. Wait for it to dry, then vacuum. For even more freshness, add a drop or two of lemon oil to the water/vinegar solution.
While we love our furry friends, the fur part can be a bit of an issue, especially during shedding seasons! Frequent vacuuming is the best way to keep your carpets fur-free.
Many of the top vacuum manufacturers now offer models specifically designed for pet hair. Before vacuuming, use a lint roller or duct tape to pick up larger clumps of hair. If all you have is a pair of rubber dish gloves under your kitchen sink, you can use those as well. Put them on, run your hands quickly underwater to get them slightly damp, then brush your hands over the carpet. The static created will make the pet hair stick to the glove. The same can be said with a rubber squeegee. Just stroke the carpet or couch and gather the hair in a central location where it can be easily vacuumed up.
Before Your Final Walk-Through: Air Out Your Apartment
If possible, move out with your pet a few days before your lease is up. Once the cleaning and repairs have been done to the best of your ability, open up windows and hang clean-scented air fresheners throughout the apartment. This will prevent your space from smelling like your cat’s litter box or wet dog during your final walk-through.
Moving from an apartment can be a stressful process, especially when you have a pet. Organization, planning and removing pet odor and stains are key to making a busy and overwhelming time a little bit easier – and can help in recouping some or all of your security deposit.
Make the move-out process as smooth as possible by starting to clean early. Don’t leave it all to the week before you move out!