How to get your security deposit back
Everyone wants their deposit back once they are moving out. It will help your moving budget a lot or can be used as a down-payment for a new place. But what people might not know is that it is extremely hard to get your security deposit back in full. It is asking you to pay attention from start till the last days in your apartment. There are many things to consider and that is why we bring you this guide. We will cover the most common situations where tenants lose their right for the deposit refund. And more important is how to avoid them.
Things to consider before you attempt to get your security deposit back
Most of you probably heard the story that a friend of a friend is fighting to get their deposit back. It is happening more often than it should. And the reason for that is because one of the two that initially shook hands, missed out something. Does not matter if you are moving in or moving out, some things you have to consider. Your landlord is not obligated to tell you what is important. He is renting and you accepted the deal. You’ll be responsible for the things you forgot to cover. Hence, let us go through a few basics.
- Read your lease – You should read your lease and double check it several times before you move in. Repeat the same process before you move out.
- Terms of conditions – Read the terms and conditions carefully. They should clearly state what both sides have to honor if you want to get your security deposit back.
- How many days to give notice – Again, depending on your lease agreement, but in most situations, it is at least a month before moving out. This can be voided with the mutual agreement if you, for instance, have a last-minute move.
- How many days for your deposit refund – In most cases, it is about one month depending on the agreement and the state of the apartment. If any repairs are in order, it may go up to two months.
Detailed list of the apartment condition
Assuming that while you were organizing your move, you assembled a moving checklist to serve as a guide through the process. Add to the list detailed apartment condition at the moment you moved in. Do the inspection and write down anything that is broken or malfunctioning. You’ll probably use that same list in the future. Probably on your next move.
It is important to go into details and document everything because landlords can come in all colors. Some of them will go an extra mile just to avoid handing over your deposit. You should go step further as well, and make a solid defense if need be. Do a video walkthrough and document every single thing in the apartment. This way you are protected from a scamming landlord, and you’ll easier get the apartment back to its original state. In conclusion, a pre-emptive strike will for sure get your security deposit back.
Your landlord should inspect before you move out
You probably missed something. We all do, and that is why you should ask your landlord to pay a visit before you move out. They would do it anyway, but if you ask beforehand they will know that you are acting in good faith. Renters make a final property inspection a week or two, before your move. They will notify if there is anything you can fix to lower the bill to get your security deposit back. Also, your landlord may request that a certain issue must be fixed, or you won’t get your deposit back. So, before the inspection, be sure to cover everything possible and to clean and declutter. Later, if there is anything else you need to do, make a list with your landlord and get to work.
You should inspect as well
Remember the list that you assembled before you moved in. This is where it will come in handy. Present it to your landlord. Remind him that some things were damaged or in poor condition before you moved in. When they realize that you keep track of everything, there will be no room for scams or any wrongdoings. Keep a copy because you’ll need proof if you ever end up in court to fight for your deposit. But you should also be aware of the newer damages. Damages caused by you, your pet or your child. Or the items that are deteriorating over time.
Take it all into consideration and do the math. Some situations are better solved on your own without your landlord know. For example, you can fill holes in drywall yourself. Or reapply paint and patch paper facings. Also, carpet stains, clogged drains, sinks, and toilets are the reason for deposit deduction. Hence, it is better to solve it yourself or hire someone you know to do it for you. You will definitely get a better deal. Landlord will for sure charge whole repair in full, along with the handyman and a trip to the hardware store.
The day you are moving out
You should notify your landlord at least a month in advance. Both sides need some time to cover the repairs, inspection, and to honor the terms in the lease. But you have more to do that is for sure. There are preparations in the form of packing, cleaning, legalities and hiring a moving company. Booking the moving company in advance is important. You should check Miami Movers for Less, a moving company Fort Lauderdale. With years of service and experience, and countless relocations covered, there is no better choice.
What is left is to leave your new address details to the landlord. They will need it when the time comes to forward utility bills and mail that is left. Do one final inspection just to be sure that you did not forget anything. Hit the lights and return the key. Your new home awaits.
Know the legalities if you want to get your security deposit back
Sadly, the law is working in favor of landlords over tenants. But whatever is your situation you should know that landlord cant keep your deposit without providing the reason for it. You can spot this when you are trying to find cheap homes for rent. If something is too cheap, there is probably something wrong. In almost all states in the US Landlords must justify the reason for withholding the deposit. In some states they are even obligated to provide the written costs they are charging out of your deposit. Also, they can’t withhold the deposit if you rented an apartment long enough. Or if you lived there for less than 6 months. You need to know your rights and they vary by the state you live in.
Now you know the basics on how to get your security deposit back. All that is left is to pack and hire some help. In case you are looking for a reliable moving company, we recommend checking Miami Movers for Less. They offer free moving quotes Miami and the safest relocation possible. We wish you the best of luck and that this time, you are moving into your place. No more rent.