How To Make Sure You Get Your Security Deposit Back

Which move are you on? The average American moves at least 11 times over the course of their life. Many of those moves are from apartment to apartment. That means a security deposit will be involved with your move in. Conversely, when you move out you want to get that deposit back. However, it is not something that you should count on unless you have followed all the terms in your lease. Here are some of the ways you can make sure to get your security deposit back on your next apartment move:

Check the Lease

The first thing you need to do to make sure you get your security deposit back is check the lease. It will be very specific as to how many days notice you are supposed to give and how that news has to be delivered. If you are leaving before the lease is up, then you either have to have permission for that or find someone to take over your lease. Some apartments require first and last month’s rent in addition to security a way, that’s a benefit when moving out because you won’t have to pay that last month’s rent. However, you can’t confuse your security deposit for rent.

Back to Original State

Every lease will have stipulations as to what do with regard to decorating. You might be allowed to paint your apartment but it would mean painting it back to the original color before you move out. In fact, you have to return the apartment to the original state regardless of whether the improvements you made enhance the space. If you want to leave up blinds or shades that you installed, then you need to get permission from the landlord. You also have to make any minor repairs such as holes in the wall left by hanging pictures.

Clean Thoroughly

Hopefully, when you moved into the apartment you took pictures before your stuff showed up. You should also take pictures when you move out and those pictures should be an exact match. This means you will have to clean your place thoroughly after you moved out. Again, this is something you want to check with the landlord. For instance, if you are moving out on the 31st but want to clean on the next day, then you have to get that cleared. Another approach would be to have movers move out your stuff in the morning and professional cleaners come by in the afternoon. That way everything will be taken care of and all you have to do is turn in the keys.

Do a Walk-through

You should do a walk-through with your landlord. With their permission, videotape the inspection. That way we’ll both know what is accepted and not accepted. If there is a minor repair that is needed but the landlord is okay with it, then either get that in writing or on video.

There’s no reason why a landlord shouldn’t return your deposit within 24 hours of that final walk-through. After all, this is money that should have been in a savings account the entire time.