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10 steps to get your rental security deposit back when moving out.

Posted on March 24, 2012 by BlanketMan There have been 0 comments

When renting a house or apartment you will be asked to pay a security deposit, which is to cover any damages for when you will be moving out.  But when it is time to move out some landlords might try to keep the deposit.  How to make sure you do not lose your rental security deposit when it is time to move out?

  1.  Before you move in. Inspect the premises one last time before you sign the lease. Make a video recording as you walk from room to room, and ask your landlord to acknowledge any existing problems, in writing, on the lease agreement.
  2. Look at the security-deposit description in your lease. Is the total amount described as a security deposit or is part of the moving-in amount referred to as the last month's rent? In many states, you can live out that last month's rent after you give your landlord notice that you're leaving. The rest of the rental deposit will be returned after you leave the premises. Your state will have guidelines to help you make sure you've covered all the basic requirements for getting your money back. Some sites, like, also offer useful information.
  3. Ask the landlord when the deposit will be returned after our moving out date, some can take 30 days to return the deposit, some may do it on final inspection on the day you move out.
  4. If you want to repaint the wall or build something, make sure you have a written approval from the landlord..If not this, may cause problems and you will have to return everything to original condition.
  5. Look at the video or photographs you took when you moved in. Your challenge is to return the state of your premises to a reasonable approximation of that original condition, with adjustments for normal wear and tear. The modest amount of effort you make can make a big difference in how easily you get your full deposit back.
  6. If there is carpeting in the premises, hire a professional carpet cleaner. Don't be tempted by supermarket cleaning-machine rentals, as they are expensive and generally do not produce professional results.
  7. Scrub the refrigerator with baking soda, dry it with a soft cloth, and leave the door open for airing. Make the stove and oven sparkle. Apply a light coating of spackle over any holes you made to hang pictures or mirrors.  Get a wash-and-wax product to clean and polish any tile or linoleum floors. Wash the mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors with vinegar and water or a commercial glass cleaner.
  8. Open the windows and air out the house for several hours - then light some vanilla-scented candles or heat up some apple juice with cinnamon and nutmeg to give the house a pleasant ambiance. Make believe you're the landlord and inspect the house. How does it look? Fine-tune whatever doesn't look just right, then take your moving-out pictures or video.
  9. Keep all your documentation, including the lease and your receipts for any maintenance and repairs. They will be vital evidence if you have to file a small claims action against your landlord.
  10. Your move out day is very important.  If you hire professional movers, on the day of the Moving estimate ask moving company representative what type of wall and floor protection they use. Ask your moving men to cover floors with moving blankets or floor runners, entrance must be protected with door jamb protectors.  Make sure to inspect the house wall and floors for dents and scratches after the movers moved your household stuff out.  Bring everything to the attention of the foreman and if necessary call moving company office before you pay the final bill.   Moving company should either fix damages they made or give you a discount from your moving costs for it.

This post was posted in Moving Tips