As you get ready to move into a new apartment or rental, you will need to put down a security deposit. This deposit can be a full month or even two month’s rent, along with a cleaning deposit! Let’s face it — that’s a lot of money to just throw away. Thankfully there are some easy steps you can take to ensure you get your security deposit back:
When you first move into your new place, carefully walk through every room and take photos. If you happen to find any previous damage that you could potentially be charged with later, take a close up photo of this and write down a description of the damage on a checklist.
- Timestamp photos
- Take photos during move-in and move-out
- Create an inspection checklist and take notes
- Give your landlord a copy of the above during move-in and move-out
- Keep a copy of all notes and photos for yourself
Discuss Your Security Deposit
Talk with your landlord to discuss how they expect you to leave your rental. To ensure that they fall back on that word, make sure this agreement is in your lease or you have another written contract with their leasing expectations.
- Discuss punishments of breaking a lease
- Ask if complex allows building modifications such as painting or renovations
- Find out any special regulations to getting your deposit back
- Remind landlord close to move-out date you want your deposit back
Protect as you Move
- Prevent scuffing of floors
- Keep carpets clean
- Prevents dirt or damage from your shoes or dolly
In general, be mindful of the fact that you are bringing in items such as heavy furniture in and out that could potentially hurt walls or carpets if you aren’t careful.
Take Care of Pets
Make sure you keep an eye on your pets. We all know of someone who had a dog that got a little nervous while the owners were out of the house and scratched up a wall or peed on the carpet. If you plan on bringing any animal with you to your new place, make sure that you take it out regularly to keep it from getting anxious and make sure it has an area where it cannot harm your apartment.
Do Cleaning and Maintenance
Clean vigorously and make any necessary repairs before you move out.
- Wipe down counter tops
- Sweep and mop floors
- Vacuum and clean carpets
- Repair damages
- Touch-up paint on walls
If you aren’t sure what color paint to buy, you can speak to someone in your apartment office to match the color most accurately. Once you have finished with all your cleaning and maintenance, take that second batch of photos to show just how perfectly you left the place.
Do you have any tips for getting your security deposit back? Share in the comments below!