Many people who are moving from an apartment to a house feel that when it comes to getting back their security deposit all is lost. They feel this way because of stories that many of us hear about landlords dragging their feet in returning the deposit, or wrongfully withholding money from the deposit. However, as a former apartment dweller and potential new home owner you should know that there actually are ways to guarantee that you will see your money returned. Here are some tips for making sure that your security deposit goes back into your wallet — where it belongs.
- Read the lease: Yes, the lease will tell under what conditions you may lose all or some of your initial deposit. And even though some leases can be quite long, reading them will help you while you are a tenant and when you are about to leave.
- Pay your last month’s rent: Although some tenants see it this way, a security deposit and your last month’s rent are not the same thing. If you have this frame of mind you could end up paying for damaged items around your apartment and being sued for a month’s back rent.
- Document everything: Document all changes you have made to the apartment. Also, take a video or pictures of the apartment as you are about to move out. Finally, keep a record of all maintenance issues that you raised with the manager since you moved in so that he/she is unable to say that any new issues have arisen that you have already contacted him/her about. This will be very strong proof if you run into an unscrupulous landlord who tries to keep your deposit on this basis.
- Clean thoroughly: Clean your apartment from top to bottom prior to moving out. You may wish to have your apartment professionally cleaned just to make sure that it is in pristine condition before you move. If you do, save all your receipts.
- Have your landlord do a mock inspection: Ask your landlord to pre-inspect your apartment prior to moving out. This way you will have time to fix antic he/she may find.
- Research local laws: Make sure you understand the circumstances under which a landlord can keep all or part of your deposit. Also, be sure you know how to legally proceed if you dispute the amount the landlord decides to keep.
Finally, the process of getting your security deposit back can sometimes be a daunting task. But believe us – it does not have to be. With some planning and clear, considerate communication, you may end up with the money you paid upon moving into to your apartment right back into your hands. When you are ready to move, our Beverly Hills moving and storage company can help you. Our movers in Burbank are courteous, professional and they will treat your possessions as if they were their own.