Everyone knows how shady apartment complexes can be when it comes to security deposits. If you want to get your money when you move out, follow these 5 tips on how to get your security deposit back.
Carefully Fill Out the Apartment Move-In Checklist
When you move into a new apartment, your landlord will provide you with a move-in checklist where you can list current damages to the home. It is so important to carefully go through each item on the checklist and ensure that it is in great condition. If there are any issues with your apartment, you must document it on the checklist, otherwise, you will be charged for it when you move out, even if you didn't cause the damage. Don't dig yourself into a hole before you even officially move into your apartment.
Read Your Lease Thoroughly
When you sign your lease, make sure you read it carefully and thoroughly so you can see any hidden agreements in the lease. If you just blindly sign your lease, you could end up violating it and losing your security deposit along the way. For example, many apartment complexes require you to give notice if you do not plan on renewing your lease. If you fail to give notice, you will be automatically renewed for another year. Then when you try to cancel your renewed lease, they can keep your security deposit for breaking the lease.
Take Care of Your Carpets
One of the biggest reasons that tenants don't get their security deposits back is because their carpets are a mess. You might spill drinks or food on it, your pet might make a mess, or just normal wear and tear can happen. Make sure you read more about how to take special care of your carpets. You should always clean up messes right away and with the proper carpet cleaning materials so you don't pay for it with your security deposit.
Take Pictures Before You Move Out
It is so important to take pictures and document every part of your house that your landlord may try to charge you for. Take pictures of the walls, doors, floors, appliances, and anything else you can think of. This ensures that you have a record of exactly what your place looked like when you moved out. If your landlord tries to charge you for damage that wasn't there when you moved out, you can prove it with the pictures you've taken.
Be Present During the Walkthrough
You have the right to be present while your apartment company walks through your apartment to report any damages. You should definitely be present for this to ensure they aren't making up damages to get more money out of you. If you are present, you will know exactly what you are being charged for and won't be charged for anything that you shouldn't be charged for.