It is a common belief among renters that the security deposit paid at the beginning of their lease will never be given back, regardless of how hard they clean before leaving. We have all been a renter at one point or another in life, and at Graystone Properties, we try to give security deposits back to our tenants, as long as it doesn’t hurt the quality of our product. After all, goodwill is more valuable in today’s world than a security deposit. Here are a few tips to get your deposit back.
Schedule a Move Out Inspection
Scheduling a move-out inspection sounds like a no-brainer, yet so many renters miss out on this opportunity to talk to the landlord or property manager and discuss the damages to the apartment. Don’t expect to know whether you’ll get a full deposit refund or owe for damages at that very moment, but you’ll at least see what items the manager makes note of. If you can get a copy of the move-out inspection, even better.
Damages happen in both residential and commercial spaces. Anything can happen, from your child throwing their toy truck down the stairs hitting all the walls, the moving crew bumping furniture into the door frame, or that time you thought fostering a puppy would be fun until he peed on the carpet. You may find some cheap ways to fix the scuffs and light damage and get at least some of your deposit back.
PetsMart has heavy-duty carpet cleaners available to rent on a daily basis. Give your carpet a nice, deep clean to get out any stains. You’ll be amazed at what stains can be lifted up. To cover up small holes, look for Spackle at Home Depot. If you have the owner’s approval, you may be able to apply a small amount of matching paint over the Spackle to make it look good as new. All of this, along with general cleaning supplies, will cost you less than $100, which is far below the amount you gave as your security deposit.
Return All Keys
Sometimes an apartment complex will keep the same lock after you leave, if they believe they have all the keys. Forget to turn in every key and your security deposit will be paying for the locksmith to change locks.
You can do every single thing mentioned and still not get your security deposit if you didn’t give a forwarding address or contact information. Make sure a good phone number, email address and forwarding address have all been provided to your apartment manager before you move out.
The security deposit helps pay for the maintenance crew to do necessary repairs or cleaning, so the odds of getting a full deposit are slim, but if you can get two-thirds or even half of your deposit, that’s still a win in our book.
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