The deposit (the money that you pay before renting a house or apartment) is the thing that every renter has a love/hate relationship with. You hate it because it takes even more money out of your pocket (especially if you have to pay a deposit AND first month’s rent), but you love it because, if you play your cards right, you might just get that money back someday.
Often, the determination of how much you receive back from your deposit is fairly arbitrary. Generally, the property manager is assessing how much work it will take to clean and make repairs as well as what is normal wear and tear as opposed to poor stewardship. The condition of the property prior to you signing the lease is also taken into account.
Don’t be looking crazy when the first of the month comes and you didn’t get your rental deposit back. Take these steps to get most (if not all) of your rental deposit back:
• Write down EVERYTHING you see wrong (chipped paint, scratched floors, damaged drywall, carpet stains in the walkthrough before the property is turned over to you. Don’t let somebody else’s dirt mess with your money. • Donf be nasty. If you make a habit of keeping your apartment/house clean, there will be less to clean up on moving day. • Deep clean often. Do it twice a year at the very least. Seriously.
• Communicate about maintenance issues. If you can’t make it look like it was never broken or if the repair requires something that can’t be undone, call maintenance.
• Set limits for your kids. Don’t allow food, drink, or anything that can mar or stain beyond the kitchen. • Watch your pets closely. Clean up their messes ASAP and make sure they can’t destroy anything.
• Pay attention to detail. Make sure your furniture or every day movements aren’t causing significant wear.
• Keep hanging things on the walls to a minimum.
• When moving day comes, make cleaning top priority. Do a deep clean. I suggest starting this process at least two weeks out from moving day. As you clear rooms, make sure to leave them as clean as possible. There should be few signs you were ever there.
When you rent, you’ve been put I. Charge of taking care of someone else’s property. Make sure you do a good job of it.