Secure Your deposit
Most rental agreements will require you to put down a security deposit, which protects the property manager or owner in case you skip town or damage the apartment in some way. The amount of the security deposit will vary, but it’s usually mostly refundable (a smaller portion of the deposit might be non-refundable; all of this should be spelled out in the lease). No one likes to throw money away, and it’s always a good idea to leave on good terms with the property manager, so here’s how to make sure you get your security deposit back.
5 Ways to Guarantee You’ll See Your Security Deposit Again
1. Study your lease.
Knowing what you can and can’t do in your apartment might save you from making a costly mistake. Some properties will allow you to paint the walls, for example, but it could be a big no-no in others. Same goes for having pets. Of course, you should read the lease thoroughly before you sign it, but it doesn’t hurt to read it again as a refresher once you actually have the keys to your apartment.
2. Take notes.
Before moving any of your stuff in, thoroughly inspect the apartment for any damage. Take notes or photographs if necessary, and have it signed by the landlord. This will help protect you from being charged for damage that was caused by a previous tenant.
3. Keep it clean.
You’ll still need to clean thoroughly when you move out (or hire someone to do it for you), but you can make the task a lot easier by cleaning regularly while you are occupying the apartment. If you struggle to stay on top of routine cleaning, find a way to motivate yourself and make it fun. Perhaps you need a chore chart (nope, they’re not just for kids) or the promise of a trip to the movies. Whatever works!
4. Give proper notice.
If you’ve opted not to renew your lease, you’ll need to provide written notice stating that you intend to vacate the property. Typically you’ll need to provide this 30 days before the end of your lease, but some landlords might require more notice. Make sure you provide a forwarding address on your intent to vacate, so the landlord can mail your refunded deposit to you. If you’re not sure what your next address will be, ask a friend or relative if you can list their address.
5. Be present for the final walk through.
If you suspect there might be issues with getting all of your security deposit refunded, arrange to do a final walk through with the landlord. He or she might give you the chance to clean more thoroughly or repair any damage, but be sure to get it in writing. If the landlord states that the apartment is inacceptable condition, get that in writing, too.
What other tips do you have to ensure you get your security deposit back?
Secure Your deposit