1. Review Your Rental Agreement
Before your lease is up, review your rental agreement again. Reviewing your lease agreement will help you understand your responsibility as the tenant. Your rental agreement will list your obligations to the property. Adhering to your obligations will put you in a suitable position to get your security deposit back after you move.
2. Give Proper Notice to Move-Out
Review your lease on move-out requirements. Typically, you will need to give your landlord a 30-day notice from the date you plan to move out. In most cases, your notice will be in writing (or email). Failing to give your landlord proper notice could cost you your deposit plus additional fees.
Tip: About a month before you move out, ask your landlord if they will do a quick walk-through of the property with you. Ask what damages or areas need attention (that you can fix) to help you get your full security deposit back.
3. Repair Any Damages
Be sure to fix damages that occurred while you were a tenant on the property. Take a few weeks before moving out to repair easy fixes like ripped blinds or missing outlet plates. If you ignore these damages, your landlord will most likely use your deposit to pay for repairs. However, don’t attempt to fix complicated repairs in hopes of getting your deposit back; Leave the more extensive repairs to the professionals. Attempting complex repairs on your own could cause more damages, therefore, making the repairs even more costly to fix.
4. Deep Cleaning
Before turning in your keys, make sure to give the property one last cleaning. Be sure to:
Get rid of all trash
Clean out and wipe down all appliances (refrigerator, stove; etc.,)
Sweep, vacuum, mop
Wipe down dirty walls
Clean the toilets
Scrub the sinks and showers
Dust ceiling fans
Check out this cleaning checklist to use before moving out. You’ll have a better chance of getting your security deposit back if the rental is clean and ready for the next tenant.
5. Final Inspection
If possible, attend the final inspection with your landlord. This way, you can make sure that your landlord is satisfied and signs off on all the rooms before moving out. After the inspection, go ahead and ask if you are eligible for your FULL security deposit and when you can expect the refund.
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