How To Get Your Security Deposit Back

You’re all ready to move out. Boxes are packed. The moving truck is rented. You’ve eaten everything in the refrigerator. What should you do next? You should worry about getting your security deposit back. Maybe you’ll need it for your first month’s mortgage. Maybe you need a new computer for your job. Whatever the reason, who doesn’t need that extra cash these days?

The first step in getting the security deposit back is making sure that the apartment is in the same or better condition than the day you moved in. Some rental properties require specific measures of cleaning, for example:

  • Curtains (if they come with the property) professionally steamed ;
  • Rug professionally cleaned;
  • Nail holes in the walls filled in;
  • Damaged walls painted ;
  • Refrigerator scrubbed ;
  • Walls washed;
  • Mold and mildew from the bathtub removed with a non-abrasive cleaner and sponge.

These are some specific guidelines for your move-out day, but you might get started on the very first day you move in. Take a camera and take pictures of all of the rooms. Pay close attention to any problem areas like stains on the carpet or mold in the closets. Get the pictures developed with the date printed on the photo. When you go to move out, be sure to include the photographs for the landlord’s benefit.

As you begin to clean your apartment, be sure to ask your landlord if he has a checklist. If he does, start there. If he doesn’t, go through one room at a time and vacuum the floors, scrub the walls and the floors, including closets, wash the windows, and concentrate on any problem areas. Consider having a cleaning party with friends! Or if your friends really don’t have the time (or use that excuse), ask them if they’ll check it out after you’ve cleaned to see if you’ve missed anything.

Be sure check your lease agreement for any other stipulations and to return all keys given to you at the time of move in. As always, if you have questions, please visit our website FAQ page or give us a call at 304.723.7368 (RENT).


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