Moving is stressful, but you’re not alone.
Ease the pain of moving with a fully refunded security deposit. Make sure you get your cash back with these tips.
Getting your security deposit back after you move may feel like an impossible feat, but it isn’t. Remember that your security deposit is essentially your money, so not all hope is lost when it’s time to move out. Here’s some advice for making sure your security deposit money goes back into your wallet, where it belongs.
Plan from go
When moving in take precautions when you move in to save time and money when you move out. To avoid getting charged for damage, use removable poster putty, removable hooks to hang things, and use felt pads to protect wood floors from scratches.
Stay organized & Document everything
You know all of those rental related documents you received when you moved in? Read them thoroughly and keep all of them in one place. Research the proper procedures for ending your rental agreement, and comply with them.
Photograph everything in the rental property to serve as proof of the property’s condition. You can also take a video walk through of the unit when you first move in and again when you move out. If the property manager tries to keep your deposit, your video will serve as proof that you kept the rental in quality condition.
Take the extra steps to keep records of each time you contacted your property manager to report maintenance issues. And whenever reporting maintenance requests, do so via email or through a reporting system that sends you a confirmation. This serves as proof for your record keeping.
Contact your landlord & have them do an inspection
Confirm how far in advance you need to notify your landlord about your move out date. While your rental agreement may already note this, a quick conversation serves as both a helpful confirmation and a courtesy to your landlord. Be aware of automatic lease renewals, this is a commonly used device in lease contracts that can get renters into a tough spot. Some lease agreements require the renter to notify within a certain amount of time or the renter could face an automatic lease renewal and a large termination fee.
Ask your landlord to do an unofficial inspection before your move out date. This not only helps you assess what needs fixing but also allows both of you to get on the same page about what needs additional cleaning or repairs.
Give yourself a few days between this inspection and your move-out day so you have time to correct anything your landlord may be unhappy with.
Have necessary repairs made
Small repairs like replacing light bulbs, filling nail holes and unclogging drains are small things that make a big difference.
The repairs will take you no more than an hour to complete, but they’ll raise the general condition of the property. The landlord will definitely appreciate the work done and will be less likely to claim deductions from the deposit.
Consider painting a coat of the original paint color on any walls with scuffs or holes. You can do it yourself for around $50 or hire the service out. Depending on the condition of your walls, this could be more cost-effective than losing that money out of your deposit, especially if your rental is small. If you don’t have the funds for either option the next best thing is the ‘Magic Eraser’ to take out scuffs on the walls.
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