King of the Castle

June 4th, 2020

So, you’ve lived in your apartment for the duration of your lease and now it’s time to move.  This can be an exciting and stressful time. The most important thing to be aware of is policies regarding your lease and security deposit, but there are plenty of other items to think about as well. Here is a checklist of specific things you should do to ensure that you get your entire deposit back and get a good reference from your previous landlord.

Two Months in Advance – Research your lease terms.

apartment move out checklist

As soon as you think about moving from your apartment, it’s time to visit your leasing company or landlord and ask about move-out guidelines in your lease. Ask for a copy of the lease and review the specifics regarding how much notice you give, who is responsible for cleaning, and other essential protocol items.

-Assess any existing damage and make a repair plan.

Prepare a list for yourself of what areas of the apartment need repair or fixing before your landlord walks through your apartment for final inspection. For instance, now is the time to repair and patch up walls as well as touching base with the superintendent or landlord for items they will fix, such as plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and general maintenance repairs.

One Month in Advance – Give written notice to your landlord or leasing company.

Once you’re certain about moving out, write a letter to your landlord with the exact date of when you’ll be vacating your apartment. If they require a longer timeframe, follow their rules, or you may not get your deposit back.

-Plan for your move using this moving checklist.

Assuming you are just moving locally, start to think about who will be doing the moving—if you will be moving with the help of friends, or if you will be hiring a moving company. Either way, you will want to notify your friends or book a moving company for the day(s) you want to move.

-Cancel or change your renter’s insurance.

If you have renter’s insurance, contact your insurance company to advise them where you will be moving and to get the policy effectively transferred the day before you move out and into your next place. Start collecting boxes, tape, newspaper, bubble wrap and other essentials to start packing your belongings.

Three Weeks in Advance

– Start decluttering and packing up your apartment.

Now it’s time to start purging and organizing so that you are only packing essential items to use at your next home. Hold a garage sale, give items to charity or your church, or donate to other tenants in your apartment complex. Other tenants may love your old couch.

– Tie up any loose ends.

Start preparing for your move by asking for time off at work, look at boarding your pets if you have any, and change your utilities services well in advance. This includes telephone and Internet providers, electricity and gas providers, and water and other household services. If possible, turn on the utilities in your next home in advance of your move. This step will ensure you aren’t unpacking in the dark at your new home!

Two Weeks in Advance

– Confirm the plan for moving day.

Call your moving company and follow up on any other essential reservations you made to ensure your move is on the books. Confirm times, dates, and addresses with the movers. Find out what time they will be arriving and ask for an estimate of how long it will take.

– Talk to your landlord about moving truck access.

Ask your landlord if it’s okay for moving trucks to be in the parking lot or street during your move. Many cities require proper notification in advance. If your apartment complex has an elevator, you may need to check with the management company about using it during your move.

– Finish packing and make a moving essentials tote.

Finish packing all items except the clothes, toiletries, and food you will need for two weeks. As moving day gets closer, try to live out of a suitcase rather than your dresser drawers and closet. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry, and if your move is local, consider using a cooler on the day of the move.

One Week in Advance

– Start the cleaning process and repair process.

On this last week, start cleaning your apartment and emptying rooms as much as possible. Consider moving all your labeled boxes into one area of the room, away from the walls. Removing items will ensure you can paint, vacuum, patch up any holes, etc., before the move.

– Complete a final walkthrough inspection with your landlord.

Ask your landlord when he or she will do the walk-through inspection, and then attend to any issues found during the walk-through. You might take pictures of the apartment to document the condition you’re leaving it in.

– Ask your landlord about getting your security deposit back.

Confirm if you will be getting your deposit back and confirm the address where you’d like the check to be mailed to or electronically deposited. Sometimes a landlord may opt to use the security deposit as last month’s rent instead of returning it, so be sure to confirm. Ask about any deductions if necessary.

Moving Day – Get ready for the stress of moving day.

On the day of moving, wake up early before the movers. Have a good breakfast because it’s going to be a long day! Here are some other items to check off your list on moving day:

  • Take out the trash.
  • Fill your cooler with remaining items from the refrigerator
  • Spot clean the refrigerator if your landlord requested it.
  • Carry packaging tape in the car with you for any last-minute opening and reclosing of boxes. (It always happens!)
  • Make sure after everything is moved to sweep all the floors.

– Complete another walkthrough after moving is complete then return your keys.

Do a final walk-through of your apartment to ensure everything is gone, and all damage has been remedied. Let your landlord know the apartment is vacant and return the keys. Double-check that he or she has your address and phone number for any follow-up conversations you may have.

May 28, 2020

House Hunting in Sweden: An Entire 62-Acre Village for $7.2 Million

But, back to America and your new place.  

How to Request Repairs From Your Landlord


Repairman fixing kitchen faucet in apartmentIf your apartment isn’t getting hot water, the food in the refrigerator is melting, or the air conditioner is broken in the middle of July… time is of the essence. If you’ve ever nervously wondered, “How long does a landlord have to fix something?” Learn the best way to request repairs from your landlord (spoiler alert: it’s not via text message!) so that the repairs happen and you have the appropriate documentation to report them, break your lease, or even take legal action, if necessary.

What are the responsibilities of your landlord?

Or, how do you figure out what’s on YOU to fix? In general, your landlord should fix any issues that make your apartment unlivable. They should handle most issues related to heating, leaky ceilings or structural problems, big plumbing problems, electrical mishaps, broken appliances, and bug or rodent infestations. The exact laws vary depending on the city and state you live in, and you can learn specifics by reading your local rental codes and your lease.

Your landlord isn’t responsible for fixing minor problems – problems that don’t make your apartment uninhabitable – unless they specifically state they will on your lease. For example, your landlord doesn’t have to fix a dripping faucet, put together your IKEA bookshelf, or change your light bulbs!

How should you report problems and request repairs?

You should always request your repairs in writing, and this doesn’t mean text message. Ideally, you should send a letter via certified mail. Otherwise, sending an email will work. In case there are any issues, it’s important that there is a documented date on the request for repairs. Writing a letter or e-mail will also allow you to detail the problem thoroughly so there is no confusion between tenant and landlord.

Here’s a great sample letter to request apartment repairs. Of course, you will need to tweak the letter to make sense for your situation, but it is an excellent template to follow.

How long does your landlord have to fix the problem?

The worse the problem is, the quicker your landlord needs to respond. When you request your repair, give your landlord a reasonable timeframe to respond. If you have a toilet flooding into your living room or your heater is broken in the middle of a blizzard, it’s not unreasonable to expect the problem to be fixed within 24 to 48 hours. Your landlord has to have time to find a repairman or make the appropriate plans. If the problem isn’t something urgent, the law typically considers under 30 days a “reasonable” time period.

What can you do if your landlord doesn’t fix the problem?

You have a few options if your landlord isn’t making the repairs in a reasonable timeframe. One option is to call in a handyman to come fix things, and then deduct that bill from your rent. You could also make the repairs yourself, if you’re capable, and submit your costs to the landlord for reimbursement. If the apartment is completely uninhabitable and your landlord is simply not making the necessary fixes, you’ll probably want to report your bad landlord. You can also break your lease and find a new apartment altogether. However, you can only break your lease for extremely serious issues – breaking a lease over a leaky faucet could get you into trouble.

So, you’ve requested repairs, filed complaints, and all to no avail. Time to find a new apartment? Yeah, we think so too. Parting ways with your old apartment has never been more tempting!

May 21, 2020

Whenever you rent a home or apartment there is an agreement that you need to sign called a lease agreement.  Be sure to read it thoroughly before you sign because you are agreeing to all the details in it.  Carefully consider if you are signing a year long agreement because that means you have to pay the rent for the whole year even if you can’t afford it or want to move. You can print out the worksheet by clicking the link below or answer the questions on a separate document.

understanding_a_lease.pdf best

Name____________________________ Date_____________________________



Examine the lease agreement below, then answer the questions on the following page.


Landlord: John Doe Tenant: Joe Q. Public Date: May 01, 2020

PREMISES: Landlord in consideration of the lease payments provided in this lease, leases to tenant three bedroom, two bath single family home (the “Premises”) located at 114 Main Street, Springfield OR.

TERM: This agreement shall commence on May 01, 2020, and will terminate on May 01, 2021.
LEASE PAYMENTS: Tenant shall pay to landlord lease payments of $850.00 payable on or before the first day of the month. Lease payments shall be made to landlord at 12652 Gazelle Street, Springfield OR.

SECURITY DEPOSIT: At the time of signing this lease, tenant shall pay landlord in trust, a security deposit of $850.00 to be held and disbursed for tenant damages to the premises or other defaults under this agreement (if any) as provided by law. Security deposit will be returned to tenant within 15 days after receipt of tenant’s new mailing address.

POSSESSION: Tenant shall be entitled to possession on the first day of the term of this lease and shall yield possession to landlord on the last day of the term of this lease, unless otherwise agreed by both parties in writing. At the expiration of the term, tenant shall remove his goods and effects and yield up the premises to landlord in as good condition as when delivered to tenant, ordinary wear and tear expected.

OCCUPANTS: No more than two persons may reside on the premises unless the prior written consent of the landlord is obtained.

PETS: Pets shall not be allowed without the prior written consent of the landlord. At the time of signing this lease, tenant shall pay to landlord, in trust, a deposit of $100.00 to be held and disbursed for pet damages to the premises (if any) as provided by law. This deposit is in addition to security deposit stated in lease.

MAINTENANCE: Landlord shall have the responsibility to maintain the premises in good repair at all times and perform all repairs necessary to satisfy any implied warranty of habitability. Tenant will be responsible for: light bulbs, monthly heating and A/C filter, lawn cutting & maintenance.

UTILITIES: Tenant shall be responsible for all utilities (electric and water).

DEFAULTS: Tenant shall be in default of this lease if tenant fails to fulfill any lease obligation or term by which tenant is bound. If tenant fails to cure any financial obligation within five days after written notice of such default is provided by landlord to tenant, landlord may take possession of the premises without prejudicing landlord’s right to damages. Tenant shall pay all costs, damages and expenses (including attorney fees and expenses) suffered by landlord by reason of tenant default.

ACCESS BY LANDLORD: Subject to tenant’s consent, landlord shall have the right to enter the premises to make inspections, provide necessary services, or show the unit to prospective buyers, mortgagees, tenants or workers. In case of emergency, landlord may enter the premises without tenant’s consent. During the last three months of this lease, landlord shall be allowed to display the usual “For Lease” signs and show the premises to prospective tenants.

OTHER TERMS: Tenant shall be charged $35.00 for each check that is returned to landlord for lack of sufficient funds. For any payment that is not paid within five days after its due date, tenant shall pay a late fee of $50.00. Tenant shall not keep or have dangerous, flammable or explosive materials that might increase the damage of fire on the premises.

1. For how long is the lease agreement binding?

2.Describe the property for rent.

3.Who is the tenant and how much will it cost to move in?

4.Does the landlord live in the same town as the rental house?

5. What is the tenant responsible for maintaining?

6.What utilities are included in the lease?

7.When will the tenant receive his security deposit back, and under what conditions?

8.What happens if the rent is paid one day late? Six days late?

9.When can the landlord access the premises?

10. Can the tenant have a dog, and, if so, what will that cost?


May 14, 2020

Wow!  Your place sure does look great 🙂  But…you flick the light switch and nothing happens :0  You need utilities.  Utilities in a home include electricity, water, sewer, Internet, telephone, cable TV and trash collection. These essentials are the things you need in daily life to ensure you have a working, comfortable, livable space.

  • EWEB Eugene Water and Electric Board provides Eugene with electricity, drinking water and waste water services.  Go to this page and read about how much it will cost  for the average home for these services.


Utilities (Monthly)    
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 130.64 $  
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 66.98 $  
Garbage Service 18.78 $  

What would be your total average utility bill each month?  Add EWEB, Internet and Garbage ____________________

You can also research how much your own phone plan would be and how much cable TV would be.

May 7th, 2020

You’ve found your dream apartment!  But it’s not furnished 🙁 and you don’t have any furniture. 

Go to this website:

Look through the lists of:

  • What do you need for your first place
  • Household items you should always buy used
  • Household items you should never buy used

Research the cost of each of the items listed below that are new and used.  You can use the the internet by looking at Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Let Go, Mercari etc.  for used items.  You can look at any store such as Walmart, Amazon, Costco etc for new items.

Item Used New
Mattress x  
Pillow x  
Pots and Pans    
Garbage Can    


April 30th, 2020

Now that you have budgeted an amount for your new apartment it’s time to go look for one.  Lets say that you are working full time making $12.00 an hour.  Experts recommend that you budget 30% of your income to pay for rent.  That means you will be able to afford $633 a month. Find 3 homes/apartments that fit your budget. Consider if you would be willing to live with a roommate. Print or complete the checklist on a separate sheet for each of the rentals you have found.

Look at three different site such as:,OR/

Apartment Hunting Checklist

April 23, 2020

How to Budget for Your First Apartment (Checklist and Tips)

If you are a first-time renter, knowing how to budget for your first apartment is crucial. Following our first apartment budgeting checklist below will help you stay on top of your finances.

First Apartment Budgeting Checklist

When building out your budgeting checklist for your new apartment, don’t forget to include the below essentials.

1. Moving Expenses

Moving is a one-time expense, but an important one to budget for. You may also want to use a moving company for a local move. For a breakdown of expected costs for moving, check out our moving cost guide here.

You also may need to buy furniture for your new place, so factor this into your moving costs as a one-time expense. If it’s your first apartment, look into buying cheaper furniture.

2. Rent

Rent will likely take up a large portion of your take-home pay, so make sure you plan accordingly. The 50-30-20 rule is a good starting off point for determining how much money you can afford to spend on rent.

Making your monthly rent payments on time is critical, so make sure you have a monthly budget that ensures you can make these payments.

3. Electricity

You will likely have to pay for electricity as one of your main utilities. Make sure you call your provider before moving in and get your utilities set up under your name.

There are many ways you can save on your electric bill, so do your research to make sure you are not spending more than you need to. Also, check if you pay for air conditioning as part of your electric bill and budget accordingly for summer months. If you are moving to a new city, make sure to do some research on the average cost of utilities in the area.

4. Heating and Gas

Sometimes heat and natural gas will be covered by your landlord, sometimes you will have to pay this utility. Make sure you check before you move in, and ask your landlord what the expected monthly costs are.

Remember, your bill may spike in colder months as you crank up your heat. Curious about how to save on your heating and gas bills, even in the winter months? Check out our tips for lowering your utility bill in winter.

5. Cable/Internet

Cable bills are now synonymous with cable and internet. While you may decide to cut the cable cord and forgo all the cable channels for alternatives like Netflix, you are definitely going to need internet.

The good news is you can normally use the same provider for both and choose a package that works best for you. Plus, most providers even have a mobile app that you can manage your bill from.

6.Streaming Services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Etc.)

Streaming services are oh-so-popular these days, and paying for a streaming service over cable can help you save money in the long run. Just don’t forget to factor these costs into your monthly budget.

7. Other Utilities

Double-check if there are any other utilities you need to cover before you move in. Some places you have to pay for trash or an amenities fee.

8. Car Payments and Car Loans

If you own a car, you most likely have to make car payments on a monthly basis, or at least pay your car insurance. This can add up, so have it on your budget checklist.

9. Parking

Some places come with free parking, some apartments require you to pay for a parking spot. You may find you need parking but your apartment building doesn’t offer it, so you need to pay for a spot in a nearby garage. Parking for work may also be something you have to pay for, so make sure to factor this into your budget.

10. Other Transportation Expenses

Are you taking the bus to work every day or commuting via train? Perhaps you ride city bikes on a regular basis. Public transportation may be cheaper than owning or using your car, but still costs money, so factor this into your monthly spending.

11. Groceries and Food

If you are living on your own, you also have to feed yourself. Think about how often you plan to grocery shop versus eat out, and factor in your monthly food costs.

12. Phone Bill

Whether it is your cell phone or a landline, you have to pay to use your phone every month.

13. Credit Card Payments

If you use a credit card, make sure you pay off the minimum amount monthly. Paying your credit card is a critical component to building up a good credit score, which, in turn, impacts your ability to rent and get loans later in life.

14. Student Loan Payments

There is a good chance that if you are getting your first apartment, you may have just graduated from college. If you are like many Americans, this also means you have monthly student loan payments.

15. Health Insurance

Some people have health insurance covered by their work, others have to figure it out on their own. Make sure you budget accordingly.

Even if your work covers health insurance, take some time to look through your coverage. Understand what co-pays, i.e. the portion you pay before insurance covers the rest, you will have for any medical costs.

16. Renter’s Insurance

While not mandatory for most rentals, having renter’s insurance is a really good idea. It is normally cheap and gives you fantastic coverage.

17. Gym Membership

Do you love spin class? Belong to a gym? Spend money every week on your favorite fitness class? These costs add up, so make sure you include them in your budgeting process. If a gym membership is too costly as you get set up in your first apartment, check out our tips for setting up a home gym.

18. Other Subscriptions

Subscriptions can range from your Audible account to a wine club you belong to. Make sure you take stock of all your monthly payments and include them in your budget.

19. Entertainment

Give yourself a budget for fun. Take a look at your spending habits and figure out how much money you need to set aside in order to entertain yourself with movies, fancy dinners, outings, and other activities.

Complete this goole doc spreadsheet example with each of the categories above.

April 16 th , 2020

Welcome to the GAME OF LIFE!

In this seminar we will practice keeping your spending below your earning so that you do not run out of money. You will simulate life by getting an income, expenses and unexpected costs. You will be keeping track of your income and expenses using electronic software.

Congratulations! You were recently hired in a 40 hour per week entry level position earning minimum wage.  Use the internet the answer the following:

What is the current minimum wage? ________________________

Multiply the minimum wage by the hours you will work a week

Minimum wage =

Hours per week =                       x___________

Money earned each week=


Money earned each week=

Weeks per month=                     x____________

Money earned each month=


Money earned each month=

Months per year=                       x____________

Annual Income=                

Time moves faster in this seminar so 1 week = 1 month

You will also earn 8 days of sick leave per year. Just like in real life, if you miss a seminar due to illness you are still responsible for paying the bills and you might lose some pay (depends on how much sick leave you have). One class absence = 2 days sick. Just like real life you can transfer money electronically if you aren’t present to avoid late fees!


The table below is the federal poverty income guidelines in order to be eligible for money benefits.

 Household Size  100%  133%  150% 200% 250%  300% 400%
 1 $11,880 $15,800 $17,820 $23,760 $29,700 $35,640 $47,520
 2 16,020  21,307 24,030   32,040 40,050 48,060 64,080
 3 20,160  26,813 30,240   40,320 50,400 60,480 80,640
 4 24,300  32,319 36,450   48,600 60,750 72,900 97,200
 5 28,440  37,825 42,660   56,880 71,100 85,320 113,760
 6 32,580  43,331 48,870   65,160 81,450 97,740 130,320
 7 36,730  48,851 55,095   73,460 91,825 110,190 146,920
 8 40,890  54,384 61,335   81,780 102,225 122,670 163,560


  1. If you are single with no children, is your annual income below the poverty line?



  1. If you are single with 3 children Is your annual income below the poverty line?



  1. If you are married and your spouse makes $20,000 a year how many children would you need to have to be considered below the poverty line?




  1. If you are single with no children and earned SSI at $733.00 a month are you considered poor?


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