It’s often thought that landlords rarely return security deposits, but getting your money back is possible if you’re willing to be thorough enough in your move-out procedure. This week, we’ve outlined a few tips to help you get your security deposit back!
Maintain Open Communication
Keeping in regular, professional contact with your landlord is a great way to maintain a good relationship. By keeping them in the loop about minor issues or repairs, they will come to learn that you’re a responsible and dependable tenant. When you intend to move out, send them a simple letter stating your intentions and give them your new address for your security deposit to be forwarded to.
Know Your Lease
Reviewing your lease upon moving in and out of your rental is crucial, as leases contain all of the terms and conditions of terminating a lease and getting your security deposit back. A security deposit should be returned within 30 days of moving out, although this can vary by state. Breaking any rules outlined in your lease and moving out before your lease is up may result in not getting your security deposit back, so make sure to follow every requirement precisely. Most leases require that you drop off the keys, clean the property, and return any changes you’ve made to their original condition.
You should prioritize taking high-quality photos and videos of every room stamped with the date when you move out. Also, always note the condition of the space when you move in compared to when you move out, as you don’t want to find yourself responsible for damage incurred by someone else without proof.
Some damage is impossible to avoid, and often your landlord will have maintenance staff that can help fix the small stuff. Your landlord will likely charge you more to fix something than it would cost to do it yourself, but don’t overdo it. Only complete repairs you can do correctly and cheaply. You can make several repairs yourself if you’ve obtained written consent from your landlord.
- Make the Appliances Look New: If you burned anything on the pans below the burners, replace them rather than clean them. These only cost a few dollars at a hardware store.
- Patch Holes: Use putty and paint to patch up any holes you made hanging pictures or curtains.
- Replace Light Bulbs and Batteries: Add light bulbs to any burned-out fixtures and check the batteries in the smoke detector.
- Make the Bathroom Shine: Use a bleach pen or white paint to touch up any stains or marks you caused in the sink or bathtubs.
Clean Your Space
After you’re fully moved out, come back to get your rental “broom clean.” Performing a deep clean of your rental by clearing out and wiping down appliances, scrubbing sinks and showers, cleaning toilets, mopping and vacuuming floors, and dusting ceiling fans and blinds. By making your home as spotless as it was the day you moved in, you’ll be more likely to get your security deposit back from your landlord.
Ask for a Final Walkthrough
Request that your landlord completes a final walkthrough with you once all of your belongings have been moved out, and you have thoroughly cleaned the place. This step is vital as the landlord should be able to explain any damages and charges incurred on the spot. Also, get any agreements you reach during the inspection in writing, so there isn’t an opportunity for your landlord to change the amount returned to you.
Need rental assistance or have more questions on how to become move-out ready? Contact us today!