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Do You Want Your Security Deposit Back? 5 Habits That Will Help

Couple Deep Cleaning Windows in Apartment

If you are the same as many renters, you’d like to get your security deposit back when you move out. Having said that, did you know that one of the essential ways to ensure you do good is by practicing property maintenance? Property repairs are among the primary reasons Dearborn property managers withhold security deposit funds, to begin with. So it is reasonable to decrease the number of potential repairs that will need to be completed after you move out. You can develop various habits as a renter to guarantee that you leave the property in excellent condition and, specifically, that you will get your security deposit refunded in full.

Document Everything

Getting your security deposit back truly starts before you move into your new rental home! It has something to do with the fact that the condition of the house before you move is not technically your responsibility, although if there is no record of pre-existing damage, your landlord may be able to shift the blame to you. Thus, before you move in, you should walk slowly through every room of your new home and document every aspect of its condition. Some landlords will give a walk-through checklist, which you should fill out and keep a copy of. But still, even if they don’t, make notes in terms of any existing damage (irrespective of how small) and potential repair and maintenance items. On top of that, take photos of everything in your notes! If a dispute does occur, this will be pretty good evidence to support your case.

Regular Deep Cleaning

One of the things you can do to make sure you get your security deposit back is to clean your rental home consistently. The longer you stay in a home, the more important it will be to keep up with your cleaning regimen. Though surface cleaning will keep a lot of grime at bay in the short term, regular deep cleanings are essential if you plan to stay in your rental home long-term. Deep cleaning should include scrubbing grout, wiping down kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, and dishwasher), and completing basic appliance maintenance. Additionally, take into consideration clearing hair from drains, changing light bulbs, and dusting blinds and ceiling fans. Completing these tasks often will help ensure your landlord doesn’t withhold a fraction of your security deposit for cleaning after you’re gone.

Decorate with Care

Another method to multiply your chances of getting your total security deposit back is to be careful when you decorate your rental home. Making numerous holes in the walls or making other permanent changes to the property can cause more expensive repairs after moving out, all of which you will be held responsible for. Instead of making use of nails or screws to hang up your décor items, it’s better to make use of non-marking, removable fasteners. These hooks can hold items of diverse weights and sizes and often can be removed without damaging the wall.

Look into using coasters or pads underneath table legs, couches, and other hard items to protect your floors while moving furniture in or out. Floor damage is quite common and costly to repair. Having said that, by planning and using acceptable supplies, you can evade gouging or scraping floors, or tearing carpet when moving furniture around.

Minimize Damage

If you have kids or pets living in your rental with you, it’s very important to do whatever you can to minimize any damage they may cause. Both children and pets can be quite hard on a home’s painted walls and other surfaces, which implies taking several extra precautions. You might think about positioning furniture or other items against the walls to safeguard them from scrapes, scratches, and stains. Rugs can help protect floors and create a soft place for your little ones to enjoy. Or, it may be beneficial to designate certain areas of the house for pets or playtime so that any damage to walls or floors is limited to just a few rooms. Utilize quality cleaning materials, for instance, magic erasers to clear scuffs and rogue scribbles.

Communication is Key

One last matter, it’s crucial to communicate openly and regularly with your landlord. It may seem counterintuitive to alert your landlord when maintenance issues are developing in the home, but certainly, it’s smart. When you tell your landlord about maintenance issues early on, they can act on them swiftly. Performing maintenance or minor repairs can help you prevent major repairs afterward. Likewise, any damage noticed after you move out is your responsibility; despite that during your lease, the landlord mostly pays for repairs while you still live in the home. By reporting maintenance issues, you can better make certain you will get your whole security deposit back after moving out.


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Originally Published on April 16, 2021

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