What should you do to get your damage deposit back? You’ve given your landlord notice, paid your last month’s rent and are ready to move out. Unfortunately, your landlord hasn’t returned your security deposit. Most renters know, that security deposits are a large chunk of cash, one that will undoubtedly help with covering future expenses. So how do you go about getting your damage deposit back in the most efficient way possible? Follow these 7 tips to get your deposit back within a month’s time.
How to Get Your Damage Deposit Back
Review your lease before moving out/in
Be sure to read & re-read your lease before moving out or into a new place. Your rental lease should tell you how and when the tenant is required to notify the landlord of their move. It should also lay out the terms and conditions for getting the damage deposit back – including the time period the landlord has to return the damage deposit back to the tenant, as well as the move-out inspection requirements.
Take note of any pre-existing damage to the home
When you move in to a new home or apartment, be sure to document any damage to the home that already exists. Take photos of any issues or damage on the walls, as well as general wear and tear throughout the home. Discuss these issues with your landlord at the beginning of the rental term, so that he/she can’t hold you accountable for existing damages.
Give your landlord 30 days notice that you’re moving
While the rules surrounding end of lease differ from country to country, the general rule is that you must give your landlord at least 30 days notice when moving out. Be sure to read over your lease’s terms and conditions for further details. Without giving your landlord proper notice, you’ll most likely be required to pay at least one additional month’s worth of rent or simply they will keep your damage deposit.
Take a walk-through with your landlord
Before moving in or out, ask your landlord if they can do a quick walk-through. This way your landlord can point out what does and doesn’t need repairs and attention before you move out. This will also help you to focus on your landlord’s requests instead of spending time on something that won’t affect your damage deposit return.
Once you and your landlord have inspected the damages, spend your last month in the home fixing everything needed. In some cases, this may require having a landlord send a handyman or contractor to the house. While you should leave complicated repairs to the professionals, easier fixes can be handled by yourself. There’s plenty of information online about DIY home repairs for example, drywall repairs, stain removal & simple paint jobs.
Clean the home like your deposit depends on it
Before saying goodbye to your old home, make sure to give it one last clean. This doesn’t just mean vacuuming a the carpets. It means cleaning and scrubbing as thoroughly as possible. When cleaning, you should: clean out and scrub down the refrigerator, clean the windows, wash the floors, clean the toilets, scrub the tiles, scrub the sinks and showers, and vacuum the floors. A clean home will make it much more likely that your landlord will return the damage deposit in full.
Know the law & your rights
When it comes to getting your damage deposit back, it’s important that you know your rights as a renter. While tenants’ rights may be different depending on the country & region where you are renting, many of the general rules are still the same. Some countries & provinces set limits on damage deposits, preventing landlords from charging tenants a higher than usual damage deposit without reason. We should also point out that your local laws will indicate how many days the landlord has to return the damage deposit to the tenant, as well as whether or not there will be interest added. If the entire or part of the damage deposit isn’t returned, tenants must receive a list of deductions.
This article was written by Zaphandy Inc.