If you want to be guaranteed to get your deposit back, the rule of thumb is “Leave the place the way you found it… or better!” You should take photographs of any damages found at move-in and send them to the property manager so you have a record in writing. Beyond that, here are 6 tips to get your deposit back.
1. Move EVERYTHING out. If you don’t you’ll get charged.
2. Empty the fridge. People often forget this one.
3. Paint the walls back to the color they were when you moved in. Some places allow you to just prime them, but be sure to find out your community policy!
4. Fill the holes in your walls. At your local hardware store, you can buy a small container of spackling to fill the nail holes in the walls. If your fist (or your roommate) went through the wall, you better Google or YouTube the instructions to fix it!
6. Rent a carpet cleaner. Steam it, scrub it, do whatever you have to do to get it looking better than the day you moved in.
Of course if you’ve turned your apartment into a frat house or don’t start ahead of time, there’s no way all of this is going to happen, but if you do your best, there’s a good chance, you’ll at least get some of your money back!
Also, don’t forget. If you just decide to move out without even attempting to fix things up, there’s a good chance, you’ll get charged even more than your deposit. You definitely want to avoid that!