Getting a security deposit back means understanding what property managers or landlords are looking for after a tenant leaves. Although laws and landlords are different from one area to the next, a number of common things can affect the deposit. Several tips will help renters to get back a security deposit when leaving an apartment.
Clean Everything Thoroughly
The first tip is to clean everything in the rental unit as thoroughly as possible. Carpets should be cleaned and vacuumed on the day of the move. The walls should be wiped down completed and scrubbed clean of stains or scuffmarks. Every appliance in the kitchen should be emptied and cleaned both inside and out for the best results. Cleaning under appliances and in the back of drawers and cabinets will help as well. Even the drains in the bathroom sink and tub should be cleaned.
Make Necessary Repairs
Anything that has broken or been damaged during the rental period should be repaired before leaving. Problems with windows, doors, cabinets and drawers should all be fixed if possible. Loose fixtures or malfunctioning appliances should be repaired. Anything like blinds or curtain rods that were taken down after moving in should be replaced. Large holes in walls should be patched if the repair will not stand out. It is not usually necessary to fill holes from picture frames since they are considered normal wear and tear although it sometimes helps. Any major damage to the apartment that is left will reduce the amount of the security deposit.
Return All Keys Immediately
The keys to the apartment should be returned immediately or as soon as possible according to the terms of the lease. Property managers sometimes deduct the cost of installing new locks on apartment doors and making new keys if the original keys are not received on the day the lease ends. It is best to hand the keys to an official representative rather than mailing them or leaving them in the apartment.
Leave Nothing Behind
Absolutely nothing should be left behind when leaving. The only exceptions are items that were present in the apartment when moving in. Property managers can charge a large amount in removal fees for seemingly small items like trashcans or tables. No bagged trash should be left in the apartment. The refrigerator should be emptied of everything. The apartment should be empty when leaving.
Consider Professional Cleaners for Pet Stains and Odors
Exactly how pet stains and odors are handled varies between rentals and different cities. If a pet has left behind visible stains or a noticeable odor, then it is usually a good idea to consider hiring professionals to take care of the problem. Landlords could deduct the cost of this type of cleaning and much more if pet odors and stains are perceived to be preventing immediate rental of the unit. Paying for professional pet stain and odor removal can preserve the security deposit.
Take Care of Outdoor Areas
It is important to take care of any outdoor areas that were part of the lease agreement. This could mean a balcony, yard or porch. The outdoor areas should be cleaned just like the rest of the apartment. Any personal possessions should be removed even if they seem to improve the property. Leaving outdoor areas as spotless as the inside of the apartment will go a long way towards getting the full security deposit back