The Eyes Have It

Really, we can't emphasize this enough. Use your eyes — and the camera's.

Inspect every inch of your apartment on move-in day. Everything should look great. If not, it's your trusty property manager's job to make it so.

But no matter how stuff looks, take pictures of it. Every corner, every inch. Make sure they're date stamped, then save the pictures as long as you live there.

When it's time to move out, conduct a walk-through with your property manager. Some states legally require this, but if the manager is reluctant, politely insist. Look around together and point out damage. Ask if she sees anything that will affect your security deposit.

If there's a dispute, you have pictures.

Wasn't that simple?