Living away from home is a life-changing experience that opens up your world to a new lifestyle. However, there’s a lot of things to do when your lease expires and you need to return the keys to your landlord. To ensure a smooth handover and get your security deposit back in full, consider completing these 10 things that many tenants frequently miss out.
#1: Paint over stains on the walls
Yellow patches over white walls are easy to spot, and very often landlords may take issue at having to remove them at their own cost. As such, they may engage expensive cleaning specialists to do an extensive cleanup, deducting the cost of the service from your security deposit.
The cheapest way to clear out stains is to apply a fresh coat of paint. If you have paint that matches the original color, then all you need to do is a bit of touch up. Otherwise, you’ll need to spend a few hours painting that section of the wall, or get an odd-job worker to do it at an affordable rate.
#2: Sun your mattress to remove musty odors
If your place came fully furnished, you’ll need to remove the mattress in the same condition that you received it. If you haven’t been airing your bedroom, your mattress might have a stale musty smell. Luckily, the sun is a natural antibacterial agent that removes foul smells and kills bacteria at the same time.
Leave the mattress out to sun on a hot day for at least 3 hours, then flip it over for another round. Your mattress will come out smelling as fresh as the day you moved in.
#3: Wash the curtains in the living and bedrooms
As the gateway to the dust and smells from the outside world, curtains stain and absorb smells very easily. Before handing over your apartment, send the curtains to a reliable laundromat to get it dry-cleaned or washed.
If you’re tight on time, find one that helps to take down and put up the curtains. Especially if you’re living alone, handling all these is certainly a tall order!
#4: Tighten the screws on creaking or rattling chairs
Usually the result of loose screws or a joint that needs a bit of oil, fixing creaking or rattling sounds on furniture involves an easy fix. Don’t give your landlord a chance to replace his furniture using your security deposit, because the cost difference can be huge!
Also, give your furniture a good wipedown to clean out the accumulated dust. Nothing makes a landlord happier (and more forgiving) than seeing his or her place returned in good order.
#5: Remove coffee stains on the dining table
Accidents happen, and over many months of use, stains may appear on the table and other surfaces. Try to use conventional techniques to remove these stains, so you don’t have to fork out extra to hire a professional to do the job.
If you need help, here are some tips that might work on common stains.
#6: Get your maintenance paperwork in order
Your tenancy agreement may state that you need to get an air-conditioning repairman to perform an inspection regularly, or engage a cleaner to mop the floor prior to returning the apartment. If you need to do these things, make sure you have the invoices on hand as evidence, or you may end up paying for an expensive professional from your security deposit.
#7: Patch up tears in the upholstery
If your sofa or curtains sport minor tears, a simple 5-minute patch up with a needle and some thread can save you an expensive repair job. You’ll need to make it blend in though, so use thread of the same colour, stitched together with small needlework. This is why paying attention during home economics class is so important!
#8: Return all the keys that came with the apartment
Your landlord might have handed you a whole bunch of keys, which include the ones for the shoebox, the back door, the side gate, the maintenance panel etc. Keep those safe, as you can’t duplicate and replace a key that you’ve lost. In the worst case, you’ll need to break and replace the lock, which is a huge amount of effort and cost for something that can be easily avoided.
#9: Destroy any ant trails and insect nests
Unless your apartment has an extensive jungle theme, ant trails and insect nests are never desirable. If you can follow the trail, find the source of the ants and spray some insecticide a few weeks before the handover. You should also get rid of cobwebs behind cupboards and in dark corners of the house, before your landlord freaks out about clearing an insect infestation.
#10: Repair any broken appliances or replace them with working ones
If you can do a spot of DIY repairs, try fixing broken appliances like sealing the leaking pipe from a washing machine, or replacing the flickering lightbulb in the ceiling lamp. Otherwise, ask if you can replace the broken appliance with one that you’ll purchase yourself. You can probably find cheaper alternatives listed on an online marketplace or at a garage sale. If your landlord were to buy a replacement using the money from your security deposit, you can be sure it’s going to be a spanking new one.
A lot of things can go wrong when returning a rented apartment, but generally most landlords just want to be assured that you’ve taken good care of their place. Maintain a good relationship with them, and show that you’ve put in some effort to keep things neat and tidy. That should be enough to get your security deposit back in full!
Read also: 10-tips-to-live-a-fuss-free-lifestyle-in-singapore.html
While moving to a new country is exciting, it also involves major changes to your lifestyle. There’s a lot to do before you settle in, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the househunting, immigration paperwork and your daily chores.
Fortunately, there’s a whole range of commercial services in Singapore that you can help you with the latter. Here are 10 ways to get started.
Engage a reliable child care operator to look after your kids
Find a bit of me time for yourself by engaging a trustworthy child care operator to help to take care of your children for a few hours. There’s plenty of options in Singapore, from the infant-care specialists to kindergartens that look after and teach your kids.
The government maintains a directory of approved operators who are qualified in early-childhood professional services. This way, you will also have a peace of mind while going about your other chores.
Go grocery shopping online
Some find grocery shopping therapeutic. If you’re not one of these people, then Redmart’s your answer to this problem. Redmart operates entirely online, and delivers groceries right to your doorstep. It’s convenient for you, and saves you the hassle of lugging plastic bags of groceries around every few days.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Redmart also sells fresh produce. It’s a one-stop solution that helps you save many hours each week!
Find a place to stay with Krib
House-hunting is a chore, and the Singapore real estate market is both complex and intimidating for the uninitiated. Krib aims to simplify the house-hunting experience by connecting you with the right realtor or landlord, and also gives you an indication if you’re overpaying for a particular place.
For the budget-conscious, you can also use Krib to handle all your rental paperwork, saving you hours of independent research into the process.
Organise BBQ parties to get to know the neighbours
Even though most Singaporeans live side by side in apartments, there is few opportunities for socialising as everyone hurries back and forth to work everyday. By planning a meet-and-greet BBQ party in your condominium’s BBQ pit or the nearby HDB park, you’ll have a chance to properly introduce yourself and learn more about the neighbourhood.
BBQ parties are popular among Singaporeans, and you can engage specialised services that cater to these events. BBQ Wholesale and EZ BBQ are among the more popular options these days.
Hire domestic help through an online manpower agency
If housework is too much for you to handle alone, consider hiring a domestic helper for a few hours per week. Sendhelper and Agent Bong can connect you part-time maids, babysitters, cooks and elderly-care helpers.
With a clear scope of work and a transparent price-list, using these services also helps reduce your need to manage the helper, while saving you hefty fees involved in hiring a full-time stay-in maid.
Speed to work on an express bus
Skip the rush hour traffic and glum-faced commuters by boarding an express bus. While they’re priced higher than the average public bus service, these buses only pick up passengers from a few stops, and then head straight to the Central Business District in under an hour (at worst).
The LTA has a directory of the approved vendors plying these routes, along with their respective rates. For that extra half hour of comfort, plus the joy of waking up later, it may be worth the price!
Book a fitness instructor on to go
Can’t find time to go to the gym? You can hire a personal fitness instructor to keep you in shape, saving you multiple trips to the gym every week. GoTrainer’s instructors are professional and will meet you at a location of your choice.
To save money, you can even find friends or family to train with. It’s probably fun that way too!
Engage someone to walk your pets
While pets make awesome companions, it’s also a heavy responsibility to keep them active and healthy. However, if you’re short on time, consider hiring someone to walk your pet and look after them when you’re busy or out of the country.
Pawshake and Dog Walker Singapore are popular choices, and are pet lovers themselves. Who better to take care of your four legged friends, right?
Visit the doctor without waiting in line
Singapore has excellent public health-care, with reasonable consultation rates that won’t break your bank. While polyclinics are usually busy looking after the community across Singapore, you don’t have to wait in line for long.
On your first trip down to the polyclinic, register with the counter for an online account. This way, you can make a consultation appointment before going down for subsequent visits. You’ll easily save up to an hour each time, and you’ll even get a reminder days before your scheduled visit!
Outsource your laundry and dry cleaning
Washing, folding and ironing your clothes can be a hassle, and the laundry basket is never empty. Let Keep Calm and Laundry On handle your dreary laundry chores, so you can spend more time with your family and friends. We also handle curtain and carpet cleaning, so you can give your house a regular refresh at reasonable prices. Best of all, you don’t even need to step out of your house - we pick up and deliver your clothes right to your doorstep!
While some of these services come with a premium, they will help you save time and ease the burden of daily chores. As you settle into life in Singapore, you’ll find more useful services and lifestyle hacks to make your lifestyle more efficient. Share your ideas here, we want to hear them!