When you are thinking about moving to a new place, perhaps owning your own home and no longer renting, you want to think about getting your security deposit back. That deposit you put down at the beginning of your lease will help protect the landlord against any damages that could accrue while you are staying in her apartment. How do you make sure you get it back when you leave?
We have a few tips that will help you, and if you follow these guidelines, you will be sure to receive your security deposit back, if your landlord is fair.
Examine the Lease
What does your lease say about getting your security deposit back? In some instances, the lease will not allow for a full deposit back, because the landlord simply assumes you will cause damage to the apartment. In most cases, though, your lease will stipulate what you need to do to receive your deposit. It will tell you what condition the apartment has to be in for that deposit to go back into your hands. Pay close attention to the terms of your lease, as that document will determine what you need to do in order to ensure a security deposit return.
Clean the Apartment
One of the most important steps you can take in ensuring your security deposit is returned is to clean the apartment thoroughly. It needs to be tidied from top to bottom, all stains should be removed, all spills cleaned up, and all unpleasant smells should be gotten rid of. This can take a lot of work, especially if you have not deep cleaned the apartment since you moved in or if the apartment is large. The work may be more than you can handle, especially when you are dealing with the various tasks required for moving out.
Many renters will choose Seattle apartment cleaning services, which helps them by doing the cleaning for them. Expert home cleaners will come to the apartment and handle all of the tidying up, from mopping and scrubbing to dusting and carpet cleaning. You can choose from standard cleaning services or a more detailed deep cleaning, depending on what you need.
If you do nothing else to prepare your apartment for inspection and the approval of your landlord, take the time and effort to have the place properly cleaned. Whether you do it yourself or you have professionals do it instead, it is this cleaning that will make the most impact on the landlord’s decision to give you back your security deposit.
That detailed cleaning should be done right before you leave, and you should touch nothing else in the apartment after it has been cleaned. It would be best if you remove all of your belongings from the apartment before it is cleaned, so the cleaning will go faster and the results will be better.
Fix Anything That is Your Responsibility
In any apartment lease, there will be some things that will fall under your responsibility and others that will fall to the landlord. What items might you be responsible for? Perhaps your responsibilities include fixing electrical issues like non-working outlets or plumbing issues like leaking pipes. You may be required to keep the walls looking nice, repainting them as necessary. If the carpets came with the apartment, you will probably be responsible for cleaning them and getting out any stains.
Look at your lease and see where your responsibilities lie. Make sure that you have accounted for everything that you are supposed to do, and in the month leading up to your exit from the place, ensure that you handle all of your responsibilities. If you are supposed to keep the walls in good condition, then don’t leave them with scuff marks, stains, and damage. Take time to fill in holes and do a quick repainting if necessary.
If the lease is not clear to you about these issues, then clarify it with the landlord. It would be better to get that figured out and any issues fixed ahead of time than to be confronted with them when you are expecting to get the security deposit back. Keep in mind that if you have not kept up your part of the apartment, then any repairs that cost more than the security deposit will be yours to take care of. Your landlord can take you to small claims court over anything that you did not fix that he now has to fix after you leave, if the security deposit does not cover it.
Request the Landlord to Inspect
About a month before you move out, you should check over the apartment and deal with any issues that you see. Once you think you have everything in order, then ask the landlord to do a walkthrough with you of the apartment. Ask her to look for anything that might be in need of fixing or that might prevent you from getting the security deposit back. These issues should be identified and dealt with before you move out.
Your landlord may catch some items that you did not notice, so it can be helpful to have his trained eye looking at your apartment. If you do this process before moving out, you should not have any unexpected issues crop up during the final inspection. Your security deposit should be returned to you without any problem.
Check Everywhere for Your Items
The mistake that some people make is to leave behind some items in the apartment that they don’t want. You might think that you will be doing the landlord or the next tenant a favor, but don’t assume that anyone wants your old items. The landlord may see these left behind items as a nuisance and have them removed. If the landlord has to pay for their removal, that will come out for your security deposit. Be sure to check everywhere for any items you might be leaving behind.
If you can do these tasks before moving you, you should have no problem getting your security deposit back.