How do I avoid being held responsible for damage that was already there when I moved in?

This is a biggie. You need to make very sure that you check the apartment before you move in for any damages. Look for holes in the walls, broken windows, and appliances that don't work. Report any damage to the complex prior to moving in. Otherwise you could be held responsible. Typically the management will have you fill out a move in unit condition form. Along with making notes on this and returning it to the office, you should make a copy of it and keep it for your records. You should also take pictures of damages to avoid any issues when it comes time to move out.

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