Security Deposit Tips: It’s Your Money
Getting your security deposit back from your apartment complex is an important part of moving out. Getting the security deposit back is never 100% guaranteed, but there are ways to prevent problems from arising with your security deposit refund.
Laws differ somewhat from state to state, but basically, a landlord has the right to keep your apartment security deposit to pay for damages to the apartment. Apartment managers really don’t want to keep your security deposit, they’d much rather have an apartment that has been well taken care of. By following the following apartment security deposit tips, you’ll keep everyone happy.
Security Deposit Tips: Request a Walk-Through Inspection
Most apartment complexes set up move-in inspections automatically, but if not, request it. Try to schedule it for the day they give you the key, so that you’re both in agreement about the condition of the apartment before you went in. Note and point out any damages, and ask the management representative to sign a note describing them. This will help secure the return of your apartment security deposit, especially if there’s a change in management or ownership.
Security Deposit Tips: Take Photos or Videos
If there should be any disagreement about the security deposit later, photos or videos of the condition of the apartment will help settle matters. Take a walk-through video, carefully filming doors, doorways, carpets, all windows and glass, walls, and the ceiling. It might seem extreme, but it won’t cost you much if you already own a video camera, and you’ll sure be glad you did it if there is a security deposit disagreement. Even a cellphone video is better than nothing. Photos, though, are better than grainy video if you want to get your apartment security deposit back.
Security Deposit Tips: Take Care of Your Apartment
Take good care of the place. When hanging pictures or decorating your apartment, try to do no or minimal damage to the walls. Don’t violate the lease by painting or changing any of the structure without written permission. If you live in apartments that take pets, and you have a pet, make sure to clean up any messes promptly, and prevent any destructive activity on your pet’s part.
If something does happen, don’t wait. Unless it’s an emergency, inform the management office the next time they’re open. Apologize and accept responsibility if you or one of your guests is at fault. You’ll probably have to pay the cost of the repairs, but at least you can ask for the receipt and reach an agreement.
Security Deposit Tips: Schedule a Walk-Through Inspection Before You Leave
Schedule a move-out inspection after you move your stuff out if possible. A lot of damage is done by moving furniture and large items out of the apartment. By walking through with the management rep after the stuff is out, you can both make sure that the movers didn’t cause damage and thus agree on the full return of your apartment security deposit.
If the management representative agrees that everything is OK, ask them to sign a note saying you’ll get your security deposit back. A written document is one of the best guarantees of the return of your apartment security deposit.
Security Deposit Tips: Discuss any Problems Before You Go
If something is not OK, discuss with your apartment manager how much that damage will cost your apartment security deposit before you leave. If they don’t know, ask them to send you a receipt for the repairs along with the apartment security deposit refund check. Right after the walk-through, hand in your keys and any electronic gate opener you might have.
Finally, make sure to leave your new address and phone number so they know where to return your apartment security deposit. If you need help with your move, take a look at our Moving Center. Good luck!