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How to Secure Your Security Deposit Return: 5 Must-Know Steps

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
Just like many renters, you hope to get your security deposit back when you move out. Yet, were you aware that proper property upkeep is crucial for ensuring your deposit’s return?

Repairs needed for the property are a major reason why landlords and property managers withhold security deposits. It’s wise to reduce the possible repairs required after moving out.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

Although the house’s condition before your move isn’t your responsibility, the landlord might blame you for any undocumented pre-existing damage. Hence, before moving in, you should examine every room and note down its condition.

Make sure to fill out and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist provided by your landlord. If your landlord fails to give you a checklist, simply note any existing damage, even small ones, and any needed repairs. Moreover, photograph all the items you document. These will be useful if a dispute arises later.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

Consistent cleanliness in your rental home increases the odds of getting your security deposit returned. As your stay lengthens, it becomes increasingly important to uphold your cleaning routine.

Surface cleaning can handle short-term dirt, but deep cleanings are required for long-term rentals. Deep cleaning involves scrubbing grout, wiping kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and basic appliance maintenance.

Remember to clear hair from drains, switch out light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Performing these tasks regularly helps ensure your landlord won’t keep part of your security deposit for cleaning.

Practice caution when decorating

Be mindful when decorating your rental home to help ensure you receive your entire security deposit back. Steer clear of creating holes in the walls or making permanent changes, which can result in expensive repairs that you would need to pay for.

Rather than using nails or screws for your décor, opt for non-marking, removable fasteners. These hooks can carry items of diverse weights and sizes and are generally removable without harming the wall.

Use coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and other heavy items to protect the floors during furniture moves. Floor damage is both common and costly; with planning and appropriate supplies, you can avoid floor scratches or carpet tears when moving furniture.

Minimize damage by pets or children

With kids or pets in your rental, it’s important to take steps to minimize potential damage to painted walls and other surfaces.

Consider positioning furniture or other items against walls to shield them from scrapes, scratches, and stains. Rugs can safeguard floors and offer a soft spot for your children to play.

Designating specific areas for pets or playtime can help limit damage to a few rooms. Quality cleaning tools like magic erasers are great for removing scuffs and rogue scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

It’s vital to keep in touch with your landlord regularly and honestly. Early notification of maintenance issues to your landlord leads to prompt fixes. Handling maintenance or minor repairs now can prevent larger problems later.

You are responsible for any damages found after you move out. Typically, the landlord is responsible for repairs during your lease. Reporting maintenance issues can help secure the return of your full security deposit after you move out.

Are you looking to relocate? Allow Real Property Management Oasis to assist you in finding your perfect new home in Crowley and nearby. Get in touch with us today for personalized help, or browse our available rentals to see your options.

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