Moving Out

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Clean your unit

Before you move out of your rental unit, it's important to thoroughly clean every room, including the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen area, dining area, living area, patio, etc. If you fail to perform cleaning procedures in order to restore the unit to its original condition (with exception to normal wear and tear), you risk losing part or all of your security deposit. Often times, if the tenant fails to restore the unit to its original condition upon moving into the unit, the landlord will hire a professional cleaning service, which incurs substantial costs. To better help you with cleaning your unit, please reference the move in/out checklist.

Complete checklist

When you moved into your unit, a move in checklist may have been completed in order to document any damages or cleaning issues that already existed. After all your items are moved out, the landlord may perform a move out inspection based off of the information provided on the move in sheet. If there are any damages or cleaning issues (normal wear and tear are excluded) upon your vacating of the unit that were not documented on the move in sheet, the landlord may assume that you caused the damages or failed to clean, and you may be charged for the remedies. This is why it’s important for you to document all damages and cleaning issues upon moving into your unit. Once again, it may also be valuable to take pictures or video of the unit, as a means to better detail the condition of the vacated unit.

Deactivate utilities

In order to end your utility services with the City of Ames, use this form, stop service, if you have an account in your name with the Ames Municipal Utilities, and you want to stop your service. Use the transfer service form if you currently have an account in your name with the Ames Municipal Utilities and want to stop service at your present address and start service at a new address served by Ames Municipal Utilities.

Please submit your stop service request to the Ames Municipal Utilities at least one working day prior to the date you want your service terminated. A $25 same day service charge may be billed to your account if your stop service request is not received at least one working day prior to the date you want your service terminated. Working days are Monday through Friday, except holidays. Stop service requests received after 4:30 p.m. will be considered as being received on the next working day.

To complete the stop service form, you will need the following information:
  • Your date of birth and your social security number. If married, you will need the same information for your spouse. If you do not have a social security number or do not wish to provide your social security number, then you will need to go to the Utility Customer Service office at 515 Clark Avenue and submit a stop request form and present a photo identification.
  • Your Ames Municipal Utilities account number (your account number is printed on your bill).
  • The date you want service to stop. Ames Municipal Utilities may change your requested date up to two(2) work days to coincide with an existing request.
  • Your service address, including apartment, lot or unit number.
  • Your forwarding address.
  • Your landlord’s name.
A final bill will be prepared within two weeks of your stop date. If you have a deposit, it will be applied to your final bill. A refund check will be issued to you if your deposit exceeds the amount of your final bill. Refund checks are mailed four to ten days after final bills are mailed.

Return of security deposit

If you paid your landlord a security deposit upon moving into your unit, the landlord is required to return the deposit to you upon termination of the lease. There are circumstances, though, in which the landlord can withhold any or all of your security deposit. Security deposits can be withheld for the following reasons:
  • To restore the dwelling unit to its condition at the start of the rental agreement. Ordinary wear and tear are expected.
  • To compensate for expenses incurred in acquiring possession of the unit from a tenant who failed to vacate the unit.
  • To remedy a tenant’s non-payment of rent or of other funds owed to the landlord, pursuant to the rental agreement.
When the tenant returns the keys to the rental unit, they should also provide the landlord with a forwarding address in order to receive their security deposit. After the tenant has moved out and provided a new mailing address, the landlord has 30 days to return the deposit or explain to the tenant in writing exactly why the landlord is keeping some or all of the deposit. If the landlord does not contact the tenant in writing within the 30 days, the landlord loses their right to keep any of the deposit. Also, if a tenant fails to provide a new mailing address, the tenant forfeits the security deposit.