What Pictures Can Save Your Butt When Renting

If you just moved into a new rental unit you may just want to get moved in as quickly as possible. You will also need to keep in mind your security posit your entire stay, from move-in day to move out day.

When you move in be sure to take a thorough look around and report the condition of the place. This could determine how much of your security deposit you receive back. 

The fool-proof way to do this is to take pictures of every nook and cranny in the apartment. Take extra pictures for areas that are questionable. If you are renting from a management company you can ask them for a move-in condition report, or you could print one from the Internet. Walk through the apartment with the landlord to sign off on any of the questionable areas.

The next step is to email the pictures to your landlord before you move-in and keep a safe copy for yourself. 

If you really want to be safe, walk around making a video of the place. Here is a list of six things you should picture or video before you move in.


Unless the last tenants did not have a single piece of art hanging on the wall, you should check for holes. They could have hung pictures, shelves, mirrors, etc. and if they go unnoticed by the management company, you will probably have to deal with them when you move out. And any holes you put in the walls you must repair as well. 

Carpet and flooring

Often time’s tenants are charged for spots on carpets that may or may not have been theirs. This is why it is important to keep a date-stamped copy of the photo. Floors experience wear and tear throughout its life, but you don't want to be held responsible for various marks that may not be yours. 

Soap scum

What a random thing to worry about, but landlords want their place to be spotless when you move out.  If you have to clean the bathroom one time through it could save you your deposit.


Inspect your windows before you move-in, open and closed. Make sure they function properly and are intact. Report the issue if one arises. You can avoid major issues at the end of your stay if everything is reported from the beginning. 

Inside large appliances

Take several pictures of the inside of your oven, refrigerator, and microwave. Take out all the drawers make sure there is no visible damage. Make sure none of them are emitting any strange noises. This will surely be worth your deposit for just a little amount of time this will take. 

Landscaping and exterior 

Check to see if the landscaping is part of your lease or not. You will want to document the condition of the yard before you move in. Pay attention if any paint is on the walls or stained with some material. To compare your yard to your neighbors and ask if they are supposed to be different. 

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