There are plenty of pains involved with moving. But, by far, one of the biggest causes for a headache can be cutting a big check for your security deposit. Not only do you need to dig into your pockets to pull together one month’s rent, but you likely also need to be prepared to set down a large sum so that your landlord has the necessary money to cover any damages that might occur while you’re living there.
While needing to pile up your money when you first move in can be a pain, it can also be cause for a great surprise when you pack up again to move out. If you kept your place in tip-top shape, you’re suddenly pleasantly surprised with that large amount back in your wallet after your landlord has given your rental the green light—it’s like digging in an old coat pocket and finding a couple hundred unexpected dollars.
Needless to say, you want to do your very best to ensure that you actually get that security deposit back. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
1. Take Pictures
Even if you have a seemingly ethical and honest landlord, taking pictures before you move in and out is always recommended. When the apartment is still empty, go through and take a bunch of photographs that you can keep with your records—paying extra attention to any areas with visible damage.
Then, plan to do the same thing once you’ve packed up to move out. If your landlord tries to make you foot the bill for any damage that was there previously, you’ll have photo evidence in your corner.
2. Clean Thoroughly
One of the best ways to ensure that your apartment looks presentable for inspection is to ensure it’s adequately cleaned. If you’d like to avoid putting in all of the elbow grease yourself, you can go ahead and hire a professional cleaner. However, make sure to weigh the costs—you don’t want the expense of a cleaner to run you more than the value of your security deposit.
The important thing is to just make sure that you thoroughly clean every inch of your space—including the oven, blinds, and carpets.
Nobody’s perfect—there’s bound to be spills and mishaps when you’re living in your place. But, your best bet is to communicate early and often. If something breaks, let your landlord know that it needs fixing or replacement. If you spilled something that can’t be removed, contact your landlord about getting a professional cleaner in there to take care of the mess—you’ll have to cover the expense, of course.
Even if making those issues apparent from the get-go costs you a little bit here and there, it’s still sure to be less than your security deposit. Plus, showing your landlord that you’re honest and concerned with taking great care of your place will really only help you in the long run.
There you have it—three tips that are sure to help you get that hefty sum of money back in your pockets when it comes time to move out. Put them into action, and then celebrate being rewarded with that security deposit after all of your boxes are packed!
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