Nothing feels as great as a full refund on your security deposit when moving homes! Living in a rental property for a long period of time will end up in the normal wear and tear, but there are a few things you can do that will help you get your deposit back.
1. Think ahead:
If you’re just moving into a new home, think of the future: take precautions and use items that will not leave too much damage. Think removable hooks and putty instead of nails or tape. This will make it easier for you to clean up the unit when moving out.
2. Get organized:
All those documents and information you received when you moved in actually matter! Read them carefully and store them, as they most likely highlight what you are responsible for when the lease is over.
3. Take pictures (and better yet – a video!)
Subjective wear and tear is an actual thing, and so to save you an argument come to move out day, document the condition of the unit using videos and photos. Use that documentation as proof that you have kept the unit in the same condition.
4. Keep records:
Have you asked for repairs, or reported maintenance issues? Keep a record of that as well, and ensure that the landlord or management company receives a copy.
5. Inform your landlord:
Make sure you let your landlord know about your move out date, and schedule a walkthrough with them beforehand, to see what things you can be repaid, and how long they may need to get finalized.
6. Make repairs:
You may not want to, but making a few repairs will help you get the final result you want – your security deposit back! A coat of paint, a few patches, and some overall repairs will go a long way!
7. Deep clean:
You’ll need a round of deep cleaning! If you can get it done yourself, that’s great. Otherwise, you might need a company to help you clean the home.
8. Do a mock inspection:
This is quite possible the most important thing you can do. A mock inspection with your landlord a month in advance will help you determine what you need to do and if you are within the range of getting your deposit back. Whatever you do, do not skip this step!
9. Know your rights:
Remember those document you signed and hopefully stored carefully? Go through them, go through the contract, the agreement and the property’s policy and procedures. Know your rights and educate yourself on what you owe, and what is owed to you.