How to Keep Your Security Deposit

Finally finding the perfect rental property and then having to put a security deposit down right away can be a little intimidating. What is the security deposit for? What if you don’t get all of the money back at the end of your lease? How can you get all your money back? Well, here are a few tips to answer those questions and to help you get your security deposit back.

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit is the money you put down at the beginning of the lease. This ensures that any damages you might cause are covered for the owner. In many cases, like those related to, the security deposit matches the first month’s rent. You’ll get your security deposit back at the end of your lease if the rental property was property taken care of to the standards of your lease.

Get more info on security deposits here!

Chances are, you won’t get all of your money back if you damage the property, take anything that came with the rental property, or didn’t thoroughly clean the property after your stay. However, there are easy ways to avoid all of this.

Getting Your Deposit Back

Review Your Lease

Leasing Agreement

Your lease should clearly state all responsibilities that come with the rental property. This could include things like lawn maintenance. Other than that, the lease will more than likely state that you must take care of the unit and leave it in good condition.

Some leases state that you must fill in any holes made by hanging things on walls or return painted walls back to their original color. However, this might go against your lease so make sure to read it carefully. 

Return Everything

Return everything. Image of key

If you’re given something when you rent a property – keys or a parking pass – the owner or property management company is going to want it back. This can be easy to forget but it’s very important to return anything that belongs to the unit. Losing or accidentally taking a parking pass can get you a $50 fine taken out of the security deposit.

Report or Repair Damages

Accidents happen and landlords/property managers understand that. If something breaks, whether it’s your fault or not, let your landlord or property manager know as soon as possible. If it’s something small, they might repair it without any charge against you. It’s better to explain the situation as soon as it happens instead of scrambling for an excuse during the final walk-through.

Take caution when trying to repair something yourself. Sometimes it’s best to let a professional handle the situation just in case you accidentally make it worse.

Cleaning is Essential 

Clean the property thoroughly.

Your lease should state that the unit is clean when you’re leaving it. This doesn’t mean quickly sweeping the floors and moving on. Typically, it’s best to hire a professional cleaning business to make sure the property is looking its best. Everyone’s standard of “clean” is different. Having professionals come in will greatly reduce any questions on whether or not something is clean. 

To help ensure that you’ll get your security deposit back, get the carpets professionally cleaned, as well. This is a little thing that could go a long way and some leases require it.

You can take on the challenge and clean the property yourself. When you’re done, take a step back and ask yourself “would I be happy to move into a place that’s this clean?”

Take Everything With You

Don’t leave anything behind. That includes unwanted furniture. If you don’t want it, the next tenants probably won’t either. Removing any left behind items is a hassle for the landlord/property management company and could result in a fee taken out of your security deposit. If you want to throw a large item like furniture away, reach out to the property management company to see where you can dispose of it.

When all is said and done, make sure that your property manager or landlord has your forwarding address. You don’t want that to get lost in the mail. Following all of these tips will help guarantee that you get most, if not all, of your security deposit back at the end of your lease.

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