Six tips to help in the return of your security deposit
What is your security deposit? It’s that big check you gave to the landlord or property manager when you moved in to hold in trust for you until the day you move out. If you damage something beyond what would be considered normal wear and tear from normal use the security deposit is there to cover for the repair or replacement.
1. The platform for the return of your security deposit starts before you ever move a single item into an apartment or rental home. You start by documenting the condition of the property. The more detailed you are is better for the return of your security deposit when you move out. Your walkthrough should be done in the daylight to allow you to spot flaws. Look for every bump and bruise and document. Turn on every light switch, run the appliances, flush the toilets. You can document your walkthrough with either a video camera, pictures or listing the condition on paper. Turn a copy into the Property owner, property manager or landlord and keep a copy for yourself.
2. While you’re living in the property, take care of the property. Keep on top of the cleaning. Call in maintenance issues. Don’t let things sit and cause more damage. Try to avoid letting your new puppy chew up the corners of walls or doors or letting your kids run their hands up and down the hallway walls.
3. When you decide it is time to move, request a pre-move out walk through. Ask what the owner or property manager are going to be looking for when they do their final walk through. Review your documentation from when you moved in. Ask if they have recommended cleaning tips.
4. Review your contract requirements. Are you required to get the carpets cleaned, can you call your own company? Are you required to change the air filter? If items were noted in your lease make sure the items remain in the house and are easily located. Most rent continues until the keys are turned in, so remember to contact the landlord, property owner or the Property Manager on your last day. Whether you are to turn the keys in personally to them or lock them in the house, be clear in your communication.
5. Remove all your possessions and trash from the property. If you hire a cleaner, walk through the property and check their work. Don’t forget to look up, remember those ceiling fans. Remember a couple of holes in the walls from hanging pictures are wear and tear anything else might be considered damage. If your holes are excessive take care while patching, patch the hole, not the area around it.
6. Finally, provide your forwarding address to the Property owner, landlord or Property Manager. It will make it much easier to return your Security deposit if they know where to send it.
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