Tips For Ensuring You Get Your Security Deposit Back
Quite often, signing a new lease requires the payment of the first month’s rent and an additional security deposit. This deposit is intended to be kept by the landlord until you move out of your apartment. Should you leave the apartment in the condition it was when you moved in, the security deposit is returned. Should you have left any major damages, any or all of the security deposit can be kept by the landlord to cover the required repairs.
Moving out of an apartment can be stressful, but getting your security deposit returned shouldn’t be. Quite a lot can happen between your move-in and move-out date of your new apartment, especially if you live there for a few years. Below are a few tips to ensure you get your security deposit back when your lease is over.
When you first move into a new apartment, the first thing you’ll need to do is inspect the living spaces. Your landlord may give you a move in inspection document to fill out ensuring that everything is recorded before you start living there.. Take note of any concerns you may have, and take pictures for evidence. These photos will help show anything that was out of order or otherwise blemished before you got there.
Keep these documents for the duration of your lease, in case any problems come about when it’s time for you to move out. Having these documents will help solve any issues that come up later and help you avoid unwanted fees.
Know The Rules
Many issues can be avoided when you communicate with your landlord and have a mutual understanding. Know who is responsible for what. Typically, landlords are responsible for maintenance, while you may be responsible for damage repairs.
If the walls need a new paint job, you can expect the landlord to fix that when you move out. However, if you’ve snapped a kitchen cabinet off its hinges or damaged the floors, you can expect those costs to come out of your wallet (or your deposit).
Having a positive and professional relationship with your landlord will be of benefit to you, as it’s less likely they’ll heavily charge against your security deposit if you have a good and respectful relationship. Landlords are likely to be more forgiving of tenants who have helped keep an eye on their property in the past, as opposed to the tenants who only have contacted the landlord when there’s a problem.
Keep all relationships professional and file documentation of everything you have in case of any problems.
Establish a cleaning day, whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly, to help you always keep your apartment in good shape. This will minimize the amount of work you have to do when you are preparing to move out.
It’s likely you will have at least one maintenance issue during your stay in your apartment. Addressing all problems immediately can help to keep issues from escalating, which can cost your landlord more money and leave you inconvenienced. While maintenance is your landlord’s responsibility, lack of attention and urgency on your part can make the landlord feel less obligated in returning your full security deposit at the end of your lease.
Know Your Rights
If you aren’t getting your security deposit back, there must be good reason given. In most states, landlords are required to provide an explanation as to why you may not be getting your security deposit back. Familiarize yourself with how long your landlord has to return your security deposit.
And of course, make sure to fully understand the terms of your lease agreement. At Paragon Residential Management our property managers work with you to ensure that you get the most back from your security deposit. We have a move-in and move-out inspection with you to document any damage to the unit before and after you’ve lived there. This ensures that there is no question on how much of your security deposit you will get back when it is time to leave.
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