Moving Out of Your Rental: 6 Ways to Get Your Security Deposit Back

Are you preparing to move out of your rental home? There are many things to do when getting ready for your residential move. One task you don’t want to neglect is taking the necessary steps to get your security deposit back.

When you moved into your rental property, you probably put down a security deposit. The purpose of your security deposit is to help your landlord cover expenses relating to the repair of the rental property once you’ve vacated. When you move out, your landlord may keep your security deposit, depending on what’s in your lease and your property’s condition. If you’d like to get your security deposit back, these suggestions can help.

1. Know What’s In Your Lease

Your lease should have a clause that outlines the procedure for terminating your agreement with your landlord. Know what’s in the lease. Give the required notice that you plan to move out. Return the property in the condition required in the lease. If the lease provides instructions about things like, what to do with the keys, how to handle changes you’ve made to your rental property since you moved in, follow those instructions.

2. Make Small Repairs

Maybe you tore a small hole in the wall with a heavy mirror, or perhaps you stained the carpet behind the couch. Make minor repairs before moving out to put the rental property back in the condition when you moved there.

3. Clean Like Crazy

The cleaner your rental property is when you move out, the better your case will be for getting back your security deposit. If you’re good at cleaning things, you can choose to clean your rental property independently. You can also hire someone else to do this. Many cleaning companies provide services specifically for people moving out of their homes.

4. Pay Last Month’s Rent

Your last month’s rent and your security deposit may be the same amount, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same thing. Your landlord may have to use your security deposit to make repairs to your home, which would leave your landlord effectively without last month’s rent when all repairs are made. You could be responsible for last month’s rent, so be ready to pay rent like always.

5. Take Pictures

Have a record of the repair work and cleaning you did in the apartment or house before leaving. Take pictures of each room before doing your final walkthrough with your landlord, and keep these pictures with your last month’s rent receipt and a copy of your lease agreement. If a part of your home has been damaged and you’re unable to fix it, take close-ups of those areas.

6. Maintain Good Relations with Your Landlord

Hopefully, you’ve been a cooperative tenant since you moved into your property. Relationships can become strained once a tenant tells their landlord that they’re planning to move out. Be polite and cooperative as always, even if your landlord isn’t the easiest to get along with.

Even though the relationship may be coming to an end, staying in the good graces of your landlord could make it easier to get your security deposit back — you might also want that landlord to provide a good reference in the future.

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