Get Your Security Deposit Return Using These 9 Tips

Posted by: TheGuarantors on July 2, 2021

As a renter, you want your security deposit back as soon as you move out, especially when you’ve kept your home in good condition. Plus, getting that money back helps with the costs of moving to your new place! How can you be sure that you will get your security deposit back? Here are nine tips to make sure you get a full security deposit refund!

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1. Read your lease before moving out.

Before you decide to move out, reread your lease. Every lease has a terminating clause. You need to follow the requirements and responsibilities of your lease before moving out. That could mean anything from leaving the property in good condition to painting the walls and having carpets cleaned. If you break the lease, you may not get your security deposit refund.

Your lease also states the terms and conditions of getting your security deposit back. Make sure to read them before asking your landlord for a security deposit refund.

2. Notify your landlord on time.

While laws surrounding lease termination vary across different states, you must notify at least 30 days before moving out. Sometimes your lease may also get auto-renewed, and if you fail to notify on time, it could cost you a month’s rent and a longer wait to get your security deposit back. Be sure to give a reason why you’re moving out, especially if it’s due to property-related issues.

3. Document existing damages when you move in.

This is an essential step of the move-in process, and it can come in handy when you want your security deposit refund. Documenting any damages to the property during inspection before moving in makes sure you don’t have to pay unsuspecting penalties. Photos stand as proof, and landlords cannot hold you accountable for such damages.

4. Have a move-out walk-through with your landlord.

Have a move-out inspection with your landlord before you move out. Such inspections can help you figure what the landlord expects of you before you vacate the home. They can point out what repairs are needed and what should be cleaned.

5. Make all the necessary repairs.

Once the landlord has assessed all the damages, get any damages repaired ASAP. It is a sure-fire way to get your security deposit refund as it shows you’re a responsible tenant. Repairs may include patching holes or painting your apartment back to its original color. You might also have to replace old bulbs and batteries. To save money, you can do these yourself instead of hiring professionals.

6. Clean up thoroughly.

Leaving your rental “broom clean” is the law. However, this is very subjective, and landlords may expect you to do a thorough clean. You don’t need professional cleaning services. However, you should make sure to sweep, mop, and vacuum the floors, deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms, and vacuum the closets. Don’t forget to wipe the appliances too. A clean home means a happy landlord and you getting your security deposit refund on time.

7. Pay your rent on time.

Being on good terms with your landlord means paying rent on time. Make sure there aren’t any dues left at the end of your lease. Keep payment receipts of your rent checks. Store them in a safe place so you can show your landlord if any payment dispute arises.

8. Return the keys.

Don’t forget to return the keys to your landlord. Contact your landlord and set a drop-off time for the keys when you finally move out. Remember to return all the keys, which may include gate keys and mailbox keys. Your landlord can charge money from a security deposit to replace the keys if you forget to return them or lose them.

9. Know your laws and rights.

Your landlord can’t hold your security deposit beyond a certain amount of time. They also can’t charge penalties exorbitantly without solid reasons. Different states and cities have laws that prevent landlords from holding your deposit after a specific amount of time. For example, in California, the landlord must return your security deposit within 21 days.

If your landlord defaults, you can always approach small claims court and get your security deposit refund.

Remember to do your part, keep records and follow up with your landlord regularly. After all, getting your security deposit back is your right as a tenant!