1. - Organization is Key
2. - Documentation Saves WalletsIt is not uncommon for landlords to stretch the limitations of daily wear and tear, therefore it is imperative that all documentation, photos and other related "evidence" be retained for your departure walk-through. If possible, shoot a video of the property before your final exit. The goal is to make it difficult for a landlord or property management company to argue with you. Retain a log of all contact you have had with the landlord/property manager and maintenance staff along with e-mail communications.
3. - Notify LandlordDetermine the appropriate notice with which to inform your landlord of your plans to relocate. This is more of a courtesy than a requirement, however it is important to maintain a good relationship for your benefit and the landlord will appreciate the communication.
4. - Move Out in UnisonIf you have roommates who also plan to vacate, try to move out on the same day they intend to leave. This will avoid the need to deal with any junk they might leave behind.
Related: "10 Things NOT to Pack"
5. - Deep CleanBe sure to thoroughly scrub the property from floor to ceiling before you vacate. Hire a professional cleaning service if necessary, especially if your deposit was hefty. Detail cleaning is imperative behind appliances, light switches, door frames and windows. In the event that you hire a professional, be sure to retain the receipt as proof.
6. - Mock Inspection Part 1Mock inspections are a great way to ensure you are leaving a property in tip-top shape. Consider inviting friends to come over and inspect your place with a fine-tooth comb. Make a list of all damages and note our landlord's responsibility to repair them versus your own.
7. - Mock Inspection Part 2
8. - RepairsAs mentioned above, give yourself time address any and all repairs for which you are responsible. Maintain receipts and consult professionals when and where necessary.
Related: "15 Tasks to Complete Prior to Your Big Move"