Many newcomers to the Grand Duchy believe they’ll get back their rental deposits as long as they don’t damage anything, but that’s not always the case. Follow these five tips to avoid disagreements when it’s time to move out.

Think minimalist

Much of the damage that occurs to a property is caused by furniture, appliances, cooking utensils, drinking glasses, shoes, pens, and other unnecessary items. Before you move into a rental property, think about getting rid of your stuff. Anyway, what do you really need? Most people can get by very well with running water, a couple of blankets, and a tin opener.

Children

Even if they don’t mean to, children cause a lot of damage, from putting their greasy hands on doorknobs and leaving an oily film visible only to landlords, running on floors and creating microscopic cracks in the tiles, to sometimes missing the mark when they pee, which can stain or even corrode toilet porcelain.

If you have children, consider having them live in a boarding kennel, which can also be a great way for them to develop an interest in dogs. Or better yet, instead of having kids in the first place, get a hamster. Yes, they leave behind an awful stink for which your landlord will surely charge you, but at least you won’t be blamed for ruining the foundations of an entire six-storey apartment building because your son jumped out of bed every morning for three years.

Breathing

Sure, breathing feels good, especially after a long day of work when all you want is to sit on your sofa and inhale a few hundred times. However, it’s important to keep in mind that breathing creates moisture that can damage walls and lead to an infestation of mould and rot. Take care of your rental property and do most of your breathing outside.

Presence

Even if you follow all of the tips listed above, there’s still a chance that during the moving-out inspection your landlord will sense that something is different about the clean and newly renovated apartment you moved into three years ago. Sometimes your mere presence will have damaged the property in ways only experts can detect. To prevent this, make a habit of staying in a hotel or with friends for a couple weeks every month. Trust us: your landlord will take note.

Improve the property

Not all property owners like it when tenants do repair work, but many will indeed appreciate it if you fix the broken stairs or replace old slates on the roof, and they might be a little more forgiving when it’s time to return your deposit. To really leave a good impression, you could actually improve the property which will increase its value and make your landlady smile. For example, you could purchase and install a new water heater. Or why not hire a reputable company to build extra rooms? While you’re at it, pay a landscaper to turn the dull backyard into a lush garden full of exotic flowers, a granite fountain, and even a hedge maze.

The Luxembourg Wurst is a humour and satire website about life in the Grand Duchy.
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