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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. Yet, were you aware that proper property upkeep is crucial for ensuring your deposit’s return?

Property managers and landlords often retain security deposits primarily because of required repairs. Decreasing the number of repairs needed once you move out makes perfect sense.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

The home’s state before you move in isn’t your responsibility, but without proof, the landlord might pin existing damage on you. Thus, it’s important to walk through every room and record the condition before moving in.

Make sure to fill out and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist provided by your landlord. Should your landlord not provide a checklist, make notes of any existing damage, no matter how small, and any necessary repairs. Moreover, photograph all the items you document. These will be useful if a dispute arises later.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

To improve your chances of reclaiming your security deposit, consistently maintain a clean rental home. The longer you reside there, the more important it is to maintain your cleaning habits.

Surface cleaning manages short-term grime, but regular deep cleaning is essential for long-term stays. When deep cleaning, scrub grout, wipe kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, clean appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and carry out basic appliance maintenance.

Moreover, clear hair from drains, replace light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Consistently doing these tasks will help ensure your landlord doesn’t deduct cleaning costs from your security deposit.

Practice caution when decorating

Be mindful when decorating your rental home to help ensure you receive your entire security deposit back. Steer clear of creating holes in the walls or making permanent changes, which can result in expensive repairs that you would need to pay for.

Non-marking, removable fasteners are a better choice than nails or screws for hanging décor items. These hooks support items of different weights and sizes and typically don’t damage the wall when removed.

Consider putting coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and other heavy pieces to protect your floors when moving furniture. Floor damage is both common and costly; with planning and appropriate supplies, you can avoid floor scratches or carpet tears when moving furniture.

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.

Consider positioning furniture or other items against walls to shield them from scrapes, scratches, and stains. Rugs can safeguard floors and offer a soft spot for your children to play.

Allocating certain parts of the house for pets or playtime can restrict damage to a few rooms. High-quality cleaning materials like magic erasers can effectively remove scuffs and unwanted scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

Communicating with your landlord consistently and sincerely is important. By informing your landlord early about maintenance issues, they can fix them right away. Handling maintenance or minor repairs now can prevent larger problems later.

You must take responsibility for any damages observed after you move out. The landlord usually handles repair expenses during your lease. Reporting maintenance issues can help secure the return of your full security deposit after you move out.

Thinking of moving? Allow Real Property Management Folsom Lake to assist you in finding your perfect new home in El Dorado Hills and nearby. Get in touch with us today for personalized help, or browse our available rentals to see your options.

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