Get Your Security Deposit Back
July 11th, 2022
Have you just provided your landlord notice because your lease is ending soon? Did you just move into your first apartment? Knowing how to get your security deposit back is important no matter which of these situations are in. Horizon Mini Storage wants to help you get your deposit back at move out. We've put together some tips to make sure you get your money back:
Try to have open communication with your landlord throughout the lease. This means being clear and concise in language, as well as professional. Discuss plans for small repairs or changes to the rental property--no matter how big or small you think they may be--with the landlord beforehand . Touch base frequently by phone or email; this will help preserve a good relationship and up your chances of getting that security deposit back when it's time to move out.
Know Your Lease
Read your lease agreement carefully and make sure you understand the terms and conditions. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your landlord or property manager.You should always review your lease both when you move in and out of your rental home. The terminating clause of the lease will likely state the terms and conditions for getting your security deposit back . In general, it takes around 30 days from when the tenant has moved out to get their deposit back , but this time frame can differ depending on what state you live in.If you leave before your lease term is up—or if you violate any major conditions of your lease—your landlord may keep your security deposit. If a tenant breaks their lease or voids the termination clause, most states allow landlords to keep a security deposit.
For those with a year-long lease that decide to move out, it is best practice to notify your landlord 30 days in advance of the date you plan to leave. Although state law varies on terminating leases, this is typically enough notice for many landlords. Month-to-month leases should similarly give their landlord at least 30 days notice before vacating; otherwise, you may incur an extra month's rent as well as an early termination fee in addition to any fees stipulated in your lease agreement. Give your landlord or property manager a written notice that you will be moving out, and include the date of your move. Most leases require 30 days' notice, but check yours to be sure.
Clean Your Space
Before leaving your apartment, make sure it's as clean as possible. Clean appliances, scrub sinks and showers, clean toilets, mop or vacuum floors, dust ceiling fans and blinds, and tidy up any other messes you may have made. You'll be more likely to get your security deposit back if your home is as spotless when you moved in as it was on the day you moved in. Be sure to clean the rental unit thoroughly before you move out.
Make any necessary repairs to the rental unit, such as patching holes in the walls or fixing a broken window. If you want to get your security deposit back, it's best to avoid damage altogether. However, if there is already damage, be sure to have it repaired before you move out. Some of the most common apartment repairs include appliance tune-ups, water or air leaks, dripping faucets, furnace repairs and electrical work. In most situations, your landlord or property management firm will have maintenance staff or contractors who will do the task via a submitted request. If you can fix simpler issues like filling holes in the wall or restoring a space's original hue, with the permission of your landlord, you can do it yourself.
Photos and Video
When moving in your should take clear photos and videos with date stamps of each room. The same thing should be done when you're moving out of your apartment. Storage spaces, closets, and outdoor areas such as balconies are all examples of this. When it comes to noting the state of your apartment when you move in, document how your apartment appears at the time of leaving. It can assist protect you from significant expenses caused by someone else's negligence by documenting how your home looks at the time of moving out.
Before departing your rental unit, confirm with your landlord if they'll be able to do a final inspection. If they're available for a walkthrough, take the opportunity to highlight any areas of concern; this includes damage that was in the unit before you moved in and any Habitat requests left unresolved. With photo or video documentation of your rental unit on hand, this process will be much smoother.
Return the Keys
Double check you have removed all of your personal belongings from the rental unit. Horizon Mini Storage can help you with storage if you need somewhere to keep your things. Schedule a time to return your keys to your landlord AFTER you move out. You should also inquire about their key return procedure, whether it’s returning the keys in person or by mail. If you don't return your keys, be aware that you may get charged with a replacement fee for each key not returned, as well as any locks that now need changing.
It's a good idea to give your landlord an accurate forwarding address even if you don't expect them to return your apartment security deposit the same day you leave. After your last inspection is complete, your landlord or housing management company will be able to send the security deposit to you. You should anticipate receiving the security deposit back within 30 days of the move-out date, however this may vary by state.
Rights as a Renter
It's important to understand your rights as a renter if you want your security deposit back. A landlord isn't allowed to keep your security deposit without providing you with a legitimate cause. If they do, you have the right to see an itemized account of the money being withheld. You are entitled to written documentation of any damage that is reimbursed from your security deposit. There are several statutes in place that regulate how much a landlord can retain from your payment. Landlords must return security deposits within 14 days in some states and up to 60 days in others.
Are you between leases and in need of somewhere to store your belongings? Horizon Mini Storage can help with short or long term storage solutions to meet your needs. Check out our available units today, or give us a call for more assistance!