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

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
Most renters, including you, want to recover their security deposit after leaving. However, did you realize that maintaining the property well is key to securing your deposit?

Repairs needed for the property are a major reason why landlords and property managers withhold security deposits. Reducing the amount of potential repairs after you move out is logical.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

The home’s state before you move in isn’t your responsibility, but without proof, the landlord might pin existing damage on you. Therefore, before moving in, inspect each room and document the home’s condition.

Always remember to fill out and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist your landlord gives you. If your landlord fails to give you a checklist, simply note any existing damage, even small ones, and any needed repairs. Additionally, take snapshots of anything you document. This can be beneficial if a dispute comes up later.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

Regularly keeping your rental home clean can enhance the chances of recovering your security deposit. The longer you reside there, the more important it is to maintain your cleaning habits.

Surface cleaning manages short-term grime, but regular deep cleaning is essential for long-term stays. When deep cleaning, scrub grout, wipe kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, clean appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and carry out basic appliance maintenance.

Additionally, clear hair from drains, replace 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

For the best chance of getting your full security deposit back, decorate your rental home carefully. Refrain from putting numerous holes in the walls or making permanent alterations to avoid expensive repairs for which you would be liable.

Choose non-marking, removable fasteners over nails or screws for hanging your décor items. They are suitable for items of different weights and sizes and typically don’t leave wall damage upon removal.

Think about placing coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and heavy items to protect floors while moving furniture. Damage to floors is common and costly; planning and using proper supplies can help you avoid floor scratches or carpet tears when moving furniture.

Minimize damage by pets or children

Having children or pets in your rental necessitates taking measures to prevent potential damage to painted walls and other surfaces.

To guard walls against scrapes, scratches, and stains, position furniture or other items against them. Rugs not only protect floors but also create a comfortable play area for your children.

Designating specific areas for pets or play can help contain any damage to limited rooms. High-quality cleaning materials like magic erasers can effectively remove scuffs and unwanted scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

It’s vital to keep in touch with your landlord regularly and honestly. Informing your landlord of maintenance issues early allows for immediate action. Taking care of maintenance or minor repairs can stave off major issues later.

You must take responsibility for any damages observed after you move out. Generally, the landlord covers repair costs during your lease. By reporting maintenance issues, you can enhance your chances of reclaiming your full security deposit after moving out.

Are you looking to relocate? Real Property Management Thrive will guide you to the perfect new home in Milford and nearby areas. Contact us now for tailored assistance, or check out our available rentals to explore your choices.

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