If the time to move out of your apartment is drawing near, you’re starting the packing, cleaning, and hauling-away process. As anyone looking at renter ratings knows, an apartment that is well-kept is desirable and reflects well on its property management. This is the reason that landlords require a security deposit from a renter at the beginning of their leasing period. Keeping up good renter ratings is a top priority for an apartment’s management. Exacting a security deposit allows them to keep apartments in good shape, keep new tenants coming in, and keep those renter ratings up. Here are some ways to ensure that you will get your security deposit back upon move-out, while boosting your apartment’s renter ratings and making your landlord happy.
What Does My Security Deposit Cover?
Your landlord wants to maintain good renter ratings for the property, so he or she is concerned with preserving the quality of the apartment from tenant to tenant. State laws generally allow for a security deposit be used to cover unpaid rent or bills, repairing damage to the apartment outside of ordinary wear and tear, and cleaning the apartment for the next tenant.
When Should a Landlord Return a Deposit?
Every state has different laws about when and how a landlord should return a deposit, so check your state’s security deposit limits and deadlines. Most states have a set deadline of about 2-3 weeks after you have moved out for the landlord to mail you an itemized statement which generally tells you how the deposit was used and encloses the remainder of your deposit.
How Can I Get My Deposit Back?
This is especially important if you are on a month-to-month lease. Without proper notice, the apartment may end up charging you for an extra month’s rent or utility bills, which comes out of your security deposit.
Clean and Repair
Confirm what your landlord expects of you when it comes to cleaning your apartment. This way, you can avoid deep-cleaning your carpet if the apartment will do that when you leave anyway (another way management tries to keep renter ratings up!). Repair any damages you, your guests, or your pets have caused to the apartment.
Be Ready for Inspection
Request to be present when the landlord inspects the apartment. That way you can answer questions the landlord may have, and make any necessary adjustments.
Turn in Your Keys
Remember to return your keys, parking pass, and anything else that belongs to the property. If you don’t, the landlord may use your deposit to fund the purchase of new keys.