3 Tips for Getting Your Security Deposit Back

29 October 2015
 Categories: Real Estate, Blog

Renting a house or an apartment will require dealing directly with the landlord. There are certain factors that should be set into place before you sign a lease to avoid disagreements, and these are typically listed in the rental contract. One of these includes the security deposit that you are required to pay in order to rent the property. Knowing specific tips for getting this money back once you vacate the premises is ideal.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

It's important to take some time to plan ahead when you are moving so you can inform your landlord. It's common for most contracts to require a tenant to give at least a 30-day notice to the landlord. However, the precise amount of time may vary, so be sure to read your agreement thoroughly. Here are some other issues to be aware of:

1.    If you intend to vacate the property before the end of the lease, you may want to find another tenant so you don't have to keep paying the rent.

2.    Don't let your landlord inspect the premises without you being present before you move out so that you have time to fix things up.

3.    Be sure you're aware of how thoroughly the property should be cleaned before you move out and hire a cleaning company if necessary.

4.    If there has been any damage to the house or apartment while you were living there, be sure to fix it before you leave.

5.    Take photographs of the rental unit prior to vacating it once it has been cleaned so that if the landlord claims you damaged something, you have photo proof of how you left the rental unit.

6.    Give your landlord an accurate forwarding address to send your deposit check to.

Tip #2:  Get an Itemized List

If the landlord refuses to pay you the full amount back, you should have the details of why. Ask the property owner to provide you with a list of any expenses that were necessary to be paid once you left.

Listed below are some of the legal ways in which the landlord can use the security deposit:

1.    to repay any portion of the rent

2.    to make repairs to the property that you didn't fix

3.    to hire any professional cleaners to get the property back into its original state

Tip #3: Sue in Small Claims Court

In some cases your landlord may unresponsive and fail to return your security deposit. If this is the case, you should consider taking legal action against this individual in small claims court.

If you find that getting your security deposit back is simply too challenging, you may need to get assistance. Take the time to talk to your real estate agent, who knows the laws regarding this issue. And if you are currently searching for apartments to rent, contact a property like the Bonita Terrace Apartments or another in your chosen area.