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How to Secure Your Security Deposit Return: 5 Must-Know Steps

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
As with most renters, your goal is probably to receive your security deposit upon moving out. But were you aware that excellent property maintenance is vital to getting your security deposit back?

Property managers and landlords often retain security deposits primarily because of required repairs. It’s sensible to lessen the number of repairs that might be needed after your departure.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

While you’re not responsible for the house’s condition before moving in, the landlord could attribute any undocumented damages to you. Accordingly, before you move in, thoroughly inspect each room and document its condition.

Always remember to fill out and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist your landlord gives you. If a checklist isn’t given, jot down any damage, no matter how small, and any repairs that might be required. Furthermore, capture photos of everything you write down. It will be useful if there’s a disagreement later on.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

Regularly keeping your rental home clean can enhance the chances of recovering your security deposit. The longer you live in the rental, the more essential it is to keep up with your cleaning routine.

Surface cleaning keeps grime away short-term, but deep cleanings are crucial for long-term rental living. When deep cleaning, scrub grout, wipe kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, clean appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and carry out basic appliance maintenance.

Also, make sure to clear hair from drains, change light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Regularly doing these chores can help ensure your landlord doesn’t withhold any of your security deposit for cleaning.

Practice caution when decorating

To help ensure you get your full security deposit back, be extra cautious when decorating your rental home. Refrain from putting numerous holes in the walls or making permanent alterations to avoid expensive repairs for which you would be liable.

Choose non-marking, removable fasteners over nails or screws for hanging your décor items. They can hold décor of various weights and sizes and are usually removable without wall damage.

Think about placing coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and heavy items to protect floors while moving furniture. Floor damage is a frequent and costly issue; planning ahead and using suitable supplies can help you avoid scraping floors or tearing carpets during furniture moves.

Minimize damage by pets or children

When you have kids or pets in your rental, it’s crucial to minimize the potential damage they might cause to painted walls and other surfaces.

To guard walls against scrapes, scratches, and stains, position furniture or other items against them. Using rugs can protect your floors and provide a cozy area for your kids.

Designating specific areas for pets or play can help contain any damage to limited rooms. Employ quality cleaning materials, like magic erasers, to erase scuffs and stray scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

Communicating with your landlord consistently and sincerely is important. Reporting maintenance problems to your landlord promptly enables quick resolution. Carrying out maintenance or minor repairs can prevent major issues later.

Any damages identified after you vacate are your responsibility. During your lease, the landlord generally pays for repairs. By reporting maintenance issues, you can enhance your chances of reclaiming your full security deposit after moving out.

Planning to move? Let Real Property Management Full Service help you discover the perfect home in Brentwood and the surrounding areas. Connect with us today for personalized help, or view our available rentals to explore your options.

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