I recently moved out of Williamsburg on the Lake apartments in Valparaiso Indiana, and although my experience with apartment life at Williamsburg on the Lake was not entirely negative, I learned something valuable that is worth sharing regarding exit inspections and turning in keys. Exit inspections are important to protect your rights as a former apartment renter, and the keys should never be turned in early for a number of very important reasons. At Williamsburg on the Lake in Valparaiso Indiana, and probably countless other apartment complexes in Valparaiso Indiana and elsewhere across the United States, your rights are nonexistent once the exit inspections have taken place and the keys are turned in – even if you have paid rent up until a predetermined date. This addition to the apartment rental lease and exit inspection agreement could cost you money, and it is important to know your rights before allowing exit inspections and handing over the keys.
Why the Exit Inspection is Important
Just as an entrance inspection is important when renting an apartment or any other rental, exit inspections are just as important. Being new to renting, I did not insist on an entrance inspection when moving into Williamsburg on the Lake apartments in Valparaiso Indiana. Instead, I mentioned a few defects I noticed on the countertops as well as stains on the carpeting, and missing trim on the shed. Office personnel at Williamsburg on the Lake willingly jotted down the defects I found, and I am glad I had at least brought these problems to their attention – even though they did not recommend doing a walk-through before moving in. Maybe I would have pointed out far too many defects in the Williamsburg on the Lake apartment, or maybe they did not find it necessary, but it is always necessary to protect the renter. Always demand entrance and exit inspections upon moving in and moving out of rental units of any type.
Preplanning Utility Switches and Exit Inspections
Before moving out of Williamsburg on the Lake in Valparaiso Indiana, I called the local utility company to transfer the utility bill back to the apartment. My husband and I were forced to pay rent up until the 18th of July because of a 60 day notice requirement, but NIPSCO could not come out to read the meter until the 21st. I agreed to this arrangement since the 18th fell on a Friday. I knew that maintenance did not work on the weekends, so I thought they would not end up using the electricity we were still paying for. I could not have been more wrong, and they jumped on the chance to get into that apartment at Williamsburg on the Lake as soon as possible. The doorknobs were probably still warm.
Apartment Exit Inspections and Turning the Keys in Early
A day before the official move-out day I asked for an exit inspection. Although I knew the apartment was clean and in good condition, I did not trust management, and I was concerned they would find problems that I would no longer be able to remedy after turning over the keys. At my request, the exit inspection took place on the 17th, and because I knew we had paid rent through the 18th, I was confident they would not come in early to paint and do whatever else they felt necessary before renting the apartment to someone else. I found out from a close friend and neighbor that maintenance went in and out of my apartment throughout the day on the 18th, and they felt it was perfectly acceptable to use my electricity to do their work.
Exit Inspections and Losing Your Rights
When my husband called and brought this to their attention, they told him we gave up our rights when we turned in the keys. I felt that exit inspections were necessary before the final hour, and because I did not trust the situation I had to turn the keys in a day early. Being an honest person, I made sure the utilities remained in our name throughout the last day, but as I have learned time and time again, honesty does not always pay. Contracts drawn up by management are meant to protect their interests – not the renter.
When renting at Williamsburg on the Lake in Valparaiso Indiana or any other rental, never turn the keys in early, unless the utilities are turned off the same day. Otherwise, management will take full advantage of their right to come in, and they will use the electricity and/or gas to complete any painting, cleaning, or other work necessary before the next renter moves in. Keep the keys until the very last minute, and make sure the utilities are out of your name – unless you do not mind donating free utilities to an apartment complex.
Why this needs to be done is because you must make sure that the management does not get an excuse to pin the blame on you for anything and use it to their advantage if the need calls for it, which they have done on numerous occasions and innocent victims sadly fall prey to their tactics. So be careful regarding such matters and do not give the keys to anyone because staying on rent at Williamsburg is quite difficult due to the locals of the area and not as easy as handling the ones in Parc Central Residences, who are way more lenient compared to others.