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

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
Most renters, including you, want to recover their security deposit after leaving. Did you know that taking good care of the property is essential for ensuring the return of your security deposit?

Repairs needed for the property are a major reason why landlords and property managers withhold security deposits. It’s wise to reduce the possible repairs required after moving out.

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. Thus, it’s important to walk through every room and record the condition before moving in.

Be sure to complete and retain a copy of the walk-through checklist given by your landlord. If no checklist is provided, take notes of any damages, including minor ones, and potential repairs. Moreover, photograph all the items you document. It will be useful if there’s a disagreement later on.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

Keeping your rental home consistently clean boosts the likelihood of getting your security deposit back. As your stay lengthens, it becomes increasingly important to uphold your cleaning routine.

Surface cleaning manages short-term grime, but regular deep cleaning is essential for long-term stays. Deep cleaning involves scrubbing grout, wiping kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and basic appliance maintenance.

Don’t forget to remove hair from drains, change light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Regularly doing these chores can help ensure your landlord doesn’t withhold any of your security deposit for cleaning.

Practice caution when decorating

To maximize your chances of getting your entire security deposit back, decorate your rental home with care. Avoid putting excessive holes in the walls or making permanent modifications, as this could lead to costly repairs you would have to fund.

Rather than using nails or screws for your décor, opt for non-marking, removable fasteners. They can hold décor of various weights and sizes and are usually removable without wall damage.

Employ coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and heavy items to protect floors during furniture relocation. Floor damage is frequent and expensive to fix; by preparing and using the right supplies, you can prevent floor scratches or carpet tears during moves.

Minimize damage by pets or children

Having children or pets in your rental necessitates taking measures to prevent potential damage to painted walls and other surfaces.

To guard walls against scrapes, scratches, and stains, position furniture or other items against them. Rugs can both protect your floors and give your kids a soft place to play.

Limiting pets or playtime to designated areas can restrict damage to just a few rooms. High-quality cleaning materials like magic erasers can effectively remove scuffs and unwanted scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

It’s vital to keep in touch with your landlord regularly and honestly. Early notification of maintenance issues to your landlord leads to prompt fixes. Handling maintenance or minor repairs now can prevent larger problems later.

You are responsible for any damages found after you move out. The landlord usually handles repair expenses during your lease. Reporting maintenance issues helps ensure you receive your full security deposit back when you move out.

Considering a move? Allow Real Property Management Utah County to assist you in finding your perfect new home in Saratoga Springs and nearby. Connect with us today for personalized help, or view our available rentals to explore your options.


Originally published: August 19, 2022

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