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How to Avoid Losing Your Security Deposit During Your Move Out

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We all want that security deposit back after we move out of an apartment, right? Well, that’s not going to happen if you leave your apartment a disaster. Help yourself out here, and do what you can to be sure you get the entirety of that deposit back in your pocket.

Look over your lease before you move out to see what the guidelines are for security deposits. First of all, you’ll want to make sure that your security deposit is refundable. It varies depending on the apartment. Check the lease for any other information regarding issues that could keep you from getting back the entirety of your deposit. Then, use the following tips.  

Move out carefully as to not cause damage to floors, walls, etc. When moving furniture, boxes, or any other large items, you want to be as careful as possible as to not scratch floors, bang up doors, or leave any marks on the walls. This will just be one more thing you have to worry about when repairing the apartment, so avoid it if you can. 

Take everything with you, and if you don’t want it, throw it out. The worst thing you can do is leave unwanted items behind. No longer want that cheap lamp you bought at a garage sale? Don’t just leave it in the dusty corner of the living room… throw it out. Your landlord will not appreciate having to do it for you post-move out.

Make any small repairs that may keep you from getting back your full deposit. The paintings you hung on the wall sure did brighten the room, but they also left holes that need to be patched up before you leave. Patch the holes and paint over any scratches on the walls. Wall damage is oftentimes a reason tenants don’t receive the entirety of their security deposit back.

Clean, clean, and then clean some more. Dust your fans. Yes, it’s a hassle, and yes, landlords check for that. Sweep, vacuum, and mop the floors. Make your bathroom and kitchen shine even brighter than when you moved in. The best thing you can do is make sure you are keeping up your apartment throughout your entire lease, so when it comes to move out time, you aren’t spending three hours deep cleaning your bathroom. Make it easy on yourself and just routine clean the apartment throughout the time of your lease.

Go through move-out inspection with the landlord to be sure you’re on the same page about any potential damages/issues that could cost you. If they go through it without you, they could find issues that you weren’t even aware of that could’ve been fixed before you left for good. Don’t let these potential issues cost you in the end.

Return your keys and anything else you have to return after completely moving out. It’s easy to forget this step, but you’ll be charged per key that came with the apartment. Return them all promptly.

Follow up to make sure you get the security deposit back. If you don’t follow up, who’s to say your landlord can’t get away with keeping your security deposit all together? It could happen, so be sure that it doesn’t by following up and asking for a timeline on its return to you.

Follow these tips to be sure your security deposit is returned to you in full, and check out Apartments.com to find your new apartment!

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