If you want to insure that you either get all of your security deposit back when you move out, or that you at least get your fair share back, then you may have to be proactive. Security deposits are something that landlords and tenants often dispute after the lease has ended. The best way to protect yourself is to cover as many bases as possible.
When you do a walk through with your landlord, either prior to moving in or on moving day, come prepared. A good landlord will have a thorough checklist and you’ll both make note of any issues together. But if your landlord doesn’t have a checklist, come with a pad and paper and create your own list that both of you sign. If the landlord doesn’t do a walk through with you then you’ll have to document the walk through on your own. Bring a digital camera and/or a video camera and document everything in the home, both good and bad. If you have to go to court for any reason at the end of the lease, this may just make your case.
When you move out you’ll want to replicate the initial checklist and perform the same inspection, noting any changes, whether normal wear and tear or actual damage, and also take similar photos. Be fair with your landlord and accept responsibility for any actual damages and hopefully your landlord will be fair and return your security deposit.
Category: Rental Property Management