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How to Secure Your Security Deposit Return: 5 Must-Know Steps

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
If you’re similar to other renters, getting your security deposit back after moving out is important. Yet, were you aware that proper property upkeep is crucial for ensuring your deposit’s return?

Property managers and landlords often retain security deposits primarily because of required repairs. Decreasing the number of repairs needed once you move out makes perfect sense.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

Although the house’s condition before your move isn’t your responsibility, the landlord might blame you for any undocumented pre-existing damage. Accordingly, before you move in, thoroughly inspect each room and document its condition.

Make sure to fill out and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist provided by your landlord. If a checklist isn’t given, jot down any damage, no matter how small, and any repairs that might be required. Furthermore, capture photos of everything you write down. This will be valuable in case of a future dispute.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

To improve your chances of reclaiming your security deposit, consistently maintain a clean rental home. The longer you live in the rental, the more essential it is to keep up with your cleaning routine.

Though surface cleaning controls grime short-term, deep cleaning is necessary for long-term residency. Ensure deep cleaning includes scrubbing grout, wiping kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and performing appliance maintenance.

Moreover, clear hair from drains, replace light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Regularly completing these tasks will help ensure your landlord doesn’t deduct from your security deposit for cleaning.

Practice caution when decorating

Be particularly careful when decorating your rental home to help secure the full return of your security deposit. Steer clear of creating holes in the walls or making permanent changes, which can result in expensive repairs that you would need to pay for.

It’s preferable to use non-marking, removable fasteners rather than nails or screws for hanging décor. These hooks can carry items of diverse weights and sizes and are generally removable without harming the wall.

Use coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and other heavy items to protect the floors during furniture moves. Floor damage is a frequent and costly issue; planning ahead and using suitable supplies can help you avoid scraping floors or tearing carpets during furniture moves.

Minimize damage by pets or children

If you have kids or pets in your rental, you should take measures to reduce any potential damage, especially to painted walls and surfaces.

To protect walls from scrapes, scratches, and stains, place furniture or other items against them. Using rugs can protect your floors and provide a cozy area for your kids.

Allocating certain parts of the house for pets or playtime can restrict damage to a few rooms. Use top-notch cleaning products, such as magic erasers, to get rid of scuffs and scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

Communicating with your landlord consistently and sincerely is important. By informing your landlord early about maintenance issues, they can fix them right away. Carrying out maintenance or minor repairs can prevent major issues later.

You are responsible for any damages found after you move out. During your lease, the landlord generally pays for repairs. Reporting maintenance issues can help secure the return of your full security deposit after you move out.

Planning to move? Let Real Property Management Priority help you discover the perfect home in Orange County and the surrounding areas. Today, contact us for personalized assistance, or browse our available rentals to discover your options.

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