#1 Move-in Report
Your move-in report is a key player in getting your security deposit back. It’s your proof of what the state of the house was when you received it. It can protect you and your deposit by documenting what damages were already in the home before your move-in. This can ensure that you won’t get billed for any damages already present before your move-in. Make sure the state and damages of the home are documented carefully and thoroughly. Move-in reports are so important that some residents even opt to have their home inspected professionally. However, if you don’t have the budget for it, you can do your own move-in report. It’s not hard, it just takes time.
#2 Read your lease
The second best way to protect and get your security deposit back is by reading your lease and knowing what’s expected from you. In your lease should be detailed when you’ll receive your deposit back and what the conditions are for receiving your deposit back. General cleaning is expected in many leasings.
#3 Clean up
Whether you do your own cleaning or hire a professional to do it, it’s important to double check some of the common places that are expected to be cleaned and/or are generally missed such as:
Inside and outside of the oven
#4 Replace Household Items
Replace old filters, light bulbs, and any heavily used or broken household items including blinds.
#5 Move-out Report
Document, document, document! Everything. If you hired any professionals, keep your receipts as proof. Once your rental has been cleaned, make sure you take thorough photos as proof of the shape of the house when you left it. This will be important if the owner tries to bill you for any house cleanings, when you’ve had it cleaned already, which of course would come out of your deposit.