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How to Secure Your Security Deposit Return: 5 Must-Know Steps

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
Just like many renters, you hope to get your security deposit back when you move out. Did you know that keeping the property in good condition greatly increases your chances of getting your deposit back?

Necessary property repairs are a significant reason landlords and property managers withhold security deposit funds. It’s sensible to lessen the number of repairs that might be needed after your departure.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

While you’re not responsible for the house’s condition before moving in, the landlord could attribute any undocumented damages to you. Because of this, ensure you check every room and document the home’s state before moving in.

Don’t forget to fill out and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist from your landlord. In case your landlord doesn’t provide a checklist, note all damages, even minor ones, and any needed repairs. Also, take pictures of everything you note. It will be useful if there’s a disagreement later on.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

Keeping your rental home consistently clean boosts the likelihood of getting your security deposit back. Staying on top of your cleaning routine becomes more crucial the longer you live in your rental.

Surface cleaning can handle short-term dirt, but deep cleanings are required for long-term rentals. Include scrubbing grout, wiping kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and basic maintenance in your deep cleaning.

Also, make sure to clear hair from drains, change light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Consistently doing these tasks will help ensure your landlord doesn’t deduct cleaning costs from your security deposit.

Practice caution when decorating

To help ensure you get your full security deposit back, be extra cautious when decorating your rental home. Don’t make many holes in the walls or any permanent changes, as this could lead to costly repairs you’d have to cover.

Non-marking, removable fasteners are a better choice than nails or screws for hanging décor items. These hooks support items of different weights and sizes and typically don’t damage the wall when removed.

Consider putting coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and other heavy pieces to protect your floors when moving furniture. Floor damage is both common and costly; with planning and appropriate supplies, you can avoid floor scratches or carpet tears when moving furniture.

Minimize damage by pets or children

When you have kids or pets in your rental, it’s crucial to minimize the potential damage they might cause to painted walls and other surfaces.

Consider positioning furniture or other items against walls to shield them from scrapes, scratches, and stains. Rugs can serve to protect floors and offer a soft place for children to play.

It’s useful to designate specific areas for pets or playtime to confine any damage to a few rooms. Quality cleaning tools like magic erasers are great for removing scuffs and rogue scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

Make sure to communicate with your landlord regularly and truthfully. Reporting maintenance problems to your landlord promptly enables quick resolution. Doing maintenance or small repairs can avert major repairs in the future.

Any damages identified after you vacate are your responsibility. Repair costs are usually covered by the landlord during your lease. When you report maintenance issues, you improve the chances of getting your full security deposit back after moving out.

Are you planning to relocate? Real Property Management First Class can help you find the ideal home in Converse and surrounding areas. Connect with us today for personalized help, or view our available rentals to explore your options.

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