Putting down a security deposit is often a requirement when you sign a new rental agreement. It can be stressful since it’s a hefty amount to put down without a guarantee that it will be returned. However, tenants have the right to obtain their security deposit as long as they have no outstanding rent payments, the rental property has been properly cleaned, and there’s no damage beyond normal wear and tear. To ensure you get your full security deposit back, follow these tips:
Review your rental agreement
Understanding the rules and requirements in your rental agreement is the first step in ensuring you get your deposit back. Rental agreements can be long and fairly obvious, but you should definitely read through the agreement to understand what you’re responsible for and to avoid any surprises when you move out. You’ll feel more at ease knowing exactly what’s required to obtain your security deposit when you leave.
Take pictures of everything
When you first move in, it’s a good idea to take pictures of everything to document the overall condition of the property. If needed, these images can be used as a reference when you move out. At the very least be sure you document or take a photo of any damage that existed before your stay, including holes in the wall or signs of water damage.
Be sure to test every light switch and every faucet, flush each toilet, and try every system such as the air conditioner or heater. If anything is broken or not working properly, document it and let your property manager know immediately.
Keep the rental property in good condition
When you’re living in a rental property, try to treat the space like it’s your own property and not a temporary rental. Maintaining a clean living area and treating appliances with care will help to prevent future damages caused by negligence and carelessness, making it easier for you to get your security deposit back.
Stay on top of repairs
If you notice any damages, notify your property manager or landlord as soon as possible. This will prevent further deterioration and more costly repairs that could be deducted from your security deposit. While complicated repairs should be left to the professionals, minor damages such as patching a hole in the wall can be done by yourself.
If you want to get your security deposit back, make sure to give the property one last deep clean. This includes cleaning the bathroom, appliances, floors, surfaces, and walls to leave the property spotless. Remember to remove all the garbage, and don’t leave anything behind, including the food in your fridge!
While putting up the money for a security deposit can be stressful and costly, you are entitled to the deposit as long as you do your part and keep the property in good condition! Follow this checklist to ensure you move out on good terms and receive your full security deposit back.