Security deposit is the amount that you have to pay in advance for your rental. This could be equal or greater than a month’s rent that you would be paying, and both are prepayments—your rent and the security deposit. That’s why it could get a little tricky to get the deposit back from your landlord/rental agency, once your rental period expires. The deductions are definite, if you aren’t taking care of the specifications provided to you by your property manager.
But you can get your full security deposit back, if you do the following.
Have a move-in inspection
This is regarded as something useless and usually dismissed as an unnecessary task, but if you really do want to secure the security deposit, this piece of paper is your only proof of the condition of the unit upon moving in. You will be required to closely examine everything: the walls, shelves, light fixtures, windows, locks ceilings, floors, and any other accoutrements specific to your rental.
You know how insurance companies work; they take photos and if you go for a claim, they would put them on the table to prove that it was already there. Similarly, when you move into a house, take pictures of the damage that was already there; this could really help you settle disagreements and dissonance. Take detailed shots and not just random photos. You would need every angle and a clear shot for any damage; and you have to do this before placing your stuff in the new place.
Don’t ignore the lease
To avoid any surprise charges at the time of moving out, give your lease a thorough walkthrough because it’s the paper that has all the do’s and don’ts of your rental. And before signing on the dotted line, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Follow what’s on the paper and you won’t have to face any obscure charges on moving out.
Keep close tabs on the floors
Security deposits are usually deducted because of the perverse conditions of the carpets. Stains, particularly lead to the most deductions. To ensure that you get your full security deposit back, take care of the carpets nice and fine, and be careful with dropping stuff onto them. Avoid shoes and don’t procrastinate cleaning the carpet if you get them stained. Try some professional carpet cleaning services or have a steam cleaning machine with you once a year.
Get the repairs done in time
While you may not be allowed to make much changes on the rental property, you may still have to return it in its original condition. Get the walls painted; clean the carpets; empty the trash, and fill the holes to avoid hefty deductions. It can take sometime, so it’s important that you start early before your rental period expires.