10 tips for getting your security deposit back

cleaning, swiffer on floor, hardwood floor

10 tips for getting your security deposit back

A security deposit is given to the company or landlord at the start of a new lease to make sure that the company can cover the costs in the event of a lease being broken or in case damage was done to the property. To get as much of your security deposit back as possible, start doing some of these things today.

1. Clean regularly and take care of appliances

Simple cleaning habits will pay off in the long run. Vacuum your carpet, clean your oven, remove scum build up from tiles and the shower tub, scrub the floors.

2. Be careful when moving items around your home as to not make large scratches or dents

Moving couches, dressers, cabinets, and tables can cause dents and scratches. While some normal wear and tear isn’t a big deal, consider using a dolly when moving the larger items.

3. If you have a pet and they make a mess, clean up after them as soon as possible

When your pet has an accident, be sure to clean it properly and quickly after it happens. If it soaks through the carpet and into the flooring beneath, the repair costs could take your entire deposit.

4. Use nails or monkey hooks

Instead of using large screws, use nails or monkey hooks. These will create smaller holes, making them easier to fill.

5. Avoid using  large wall stickers as they remove paint

6. Report any damages that occur during your lease

If any mistakes happen while living in your apartment or townhome, let your property management company know as soon as possible. If something needs to be fixed, fill out a maintenance request.

7. Don’t remove anything or replace hardware without permission

It is good habit to always check with your management company before making any drastic changes to your home.

8. Document what your apartment looked like before you moved in and after you moved out

Take pictures and/or videos of your apartment or town home before you move in and after you have moved everything out. It is best to document everything.

9. Fulfill your lease

If you don’t fulfill your lease, you will lose your security deposit and will have to pay rent until the unit is re-rented. Additionally, any incentives you received would have to be paid back.

10. Pay rent and utilities in full

If rent or utilities aren’t paid in full, the remaining balance gets taken out of your security deposit.

Bonus tip: Clean your apartment after you leave

After you have moved everything out of your home, dedicate a couple of hours to cleaning the whole place. The apartment or townhome should be close to the same shape it was in when you moved in. Usually management companies will provide you with a cleaning list making it easier for you to make sure you don’t miss anything.