When you move into a rental property, you’ll need to put down a security deposit, which is held in case the landlord incurs costs from damage done by you to their property.
A deposit can be a large amount, so you can’t really afford to let your landlord keep it.
Follow these tips to ensure you get yours back when you move out.
Repair any damage
Survey the property and see if there are any areas of damage that aren’t just normal wear and tear. If there is any damage to the drywall, fix small areas yourself or look for a drywall repair specialist who can make it look as good as new.
Fix up any small areas of damage and repaint so it looks as good as new.
Review the terms of your lease
It may have been some time since you read your lease agreement, so it’s time to refresh your memory. There may be particular clauses that must be met in order to get your deposit back. These can include what must be done by you before you leave and how much notice you must give to end your lease.
Clean it thoroughly
Even if you’re a generally clean person, you’ll be surprised at how grubby things can look once your belongings have been removed. Roll up your sleeves and deep clean the entire place from floor to ceiling. Don’t leave out any areas, even if it isn’t part of your usual cleaning routine.
If you’re not a particularly clean person then it still might work out cheaper to get a specialist cleaning company in to get things sparkling.
Remove all rubbish and other items that aren’t meant to be there. Many people are surprised by landlord charges for removals.
Ideally, you would have taken photos or videos of the property before you moved in. Doing this means that you can’t later be charged for damage you didn’t do. Even if you did not before, you should still take photos of the place before you leave. Once you hand in your keys, you won’t have access to the property anymore and if the landlord refuses to hand back your deposit to pay for damage, you will need proof that the damage wasn’t there.
Be there for the assessment
Ask your landlord if you can do a walk-around with them as they assess the property once you’ve left. That way, if they do find anything they would ordinarily withhold your deposit for, they can tell you in advance and give you the chance to put it right. This way there aren’t any surprises.
Not all landlords are out to keep your security deposit. Many are very reputable but there can still be instances when disagreements can arise, and you’ll want to dispute the case. In this instance, you’re going to need to have something more than your word. For this reason, it’s best to do things by the book and collect the evidence before you leave the property.