When you begin leasing a new space, there are several fees that go along with it, including the security deposit. If you have never leased an apartment or house before, a security deposit is a sum of money, usually equal to one-month’s rent, that your landlord will collect upon you moving in. They will hold the deposit in case of any damages that arise during your stay, that are beyond the normal “wear and tear” that comes about through everyday living. If you are worried that it will be nearly impossible to get the full security deposit back, fear not! There are different ways in which you can ensure that you will get your security deposit back when it comes time for you to move out. Here are a few ways you can make this happen:

  • Stay organized. First and foremost, it is important to make sure that you stay organized with all paperwork and documents relating to the lease agreement. Make sure you thoroughly read through all the paper work, so you know exactly what was agreed upon, especially as you are getting ready to move out.
  • Take precautions. As you are moving all your belongings into the apartment or house, take precautions to ensure that you are avoiding any potential damages – at all costs! For example, try to use removable hooks or command strips for hanging items on the walls, and avoid scratches as much as you can.
  • Document all wear and tear. When you first move in, take a video of the space, capturing every room and every bit of wear and tear that you notice. This way, as you are getting ready to move out, you can take another video showcasing how each room has stayed intact, or what any additional wear and tear may look like. Ultimately, this is a great way to protect yourself beyond photographs that you may have.
  • Clean, clean and clean! When you are moving out, have the courtesy to clean up as best as you can before your landlord does their final walkthrough. You will need to do a true deep clean to ensure that everything is in tip-top shape – this goes beyond dusting and/or vacuuming! Also, make sure that you are doing any small repairs that you may be responsible for, such as unclogging drains, fixing up nail holes, etc.
  • Ask for a mock inspection. Depending upon your relationship with your landlord, you can ask for a mock inspection. This means that your landlord will do a fake inspection through your apartment or house to check out what needs to be fixed or amended before the final walkthrough.

Staying as detail-oriented as possible is important to make sure that you receive your security deposit back in full. Treat your house or apartment as if you are the owner and take care of it as best as you can!