When you move into a rental, you put down rent payments, security deposits and many apartments charge you pet deposits. Once we are into our apartment or home, we forget about the details of our lease and usually just expect to get a portion of our deposits back. But keeping your apartment clean, doesn’t mean you are automatically receiving your security deposit back in full. Here are 5 easy tips to help you get your security deposit back!
1. Fill out a move-in checklist and take photos of your apartment
At move-in, go through a checklist with your landlord to verify the cleanliness and state of your apartment. If there are any issues, say with a chip in a door or a broken cabinet, take photos, and write everything down. You’ll want to keep track of all needed repairs and the cleanliness of the apartment. If any damages occur in your apartment during your lease, you need to carefully document everything to keep on record.
2. Know what is in your lease
Read over your lease and know what the requirements are for moving out. Most leases have a set end date and you can move out on or before that day. But, some leases will automatically renew and extend if you do not give the property notice. If that is the case, you could be at risk of losing your security deposit if your landlord considers you to be breaking your lease. Cover your bases, read your lease, and submit a written notice 30 days in advance to cover your bases.
3. Clean and repair your apartment before moving out
Most people lose their security deposit for cleaning fees, pet damage or apartment damage. Before you move out – do a thorough clean! Vacuum, dust, scrub down dirty cabinets and floors. Not only does leaving a clean apartment lower your chances of being dinged for repairs, but also ends your time on a positive note with your landlord.
4. At move out, do a walk through with your landlord
When you are ready to move out, request a walk through with your landlord. Make sure the space is cleaned, so you can tour the home with your landlord and complete a move out checklist. Doing the walk through with your landlord allows you to document everything together, and limits the possibility of footing the bill for repairs once you’re already gone.
5. Be a respectful tenant and take care of your home
Taking care of your home during our lease is one of the best ways to get your security deposit back. Cleaning and maintaining your space while you live in a community keeps you from accruing possible fees. Having a positive and respectful relationship with your landlord is also a good idea. The less conflicts you have with staff and neighbors, the better.
There you have it! These are 5 tips to get your security deposit back. While getting deposits returned at the end of a lease isn’t guaranteed, you can take simple steps to increase your chances of a refund. Reading your lease, documenting everything int he apartment and keeping your home clean are all great ways to start. Stay tuned to the MCLife blog for more financial tips, lifestyle articles, and apartment hacks.