Before getting your rental security deposit back at the end of your lease term, your landlord must first verify that all the expectations have been met. This may include keeping the unit clean, ensuring there aren’t any major damages and taking care of a few required tasks.
Your lease agreement may provide details about an exit walkthrough. This process is very common across the U.S. An exit walkthrough is exactly what it sounds like – you walk through the unit with your landlord or leasing company and examine its condition.
During the exit walkthrough, the landlord checks for any differences between the way you received the apartment and the way you are leaving it. You may have completed an initial walkthrough, which takes place before you move into the unit. During the initial walkthrough, you and the landlord discuss details of the unit and make note of any existing issues or damages.
If you want to get your security deposit back at the end of lease term, it’s important to return the unit in the same condition in which you got it. Take pictures of the condition of the unit before you move in, so you can compare them when it is time to move out.
During the initial walkthrough, you should check for things like:
- Cracks in the tiles.
- Stains or dents in the walls or doors.
- Issues with carpeting.
- Condition of appliances.
These notes may be included in the lease contract so you can refer to them during the exit walkthrough. That way, if the landlord notices something, you can determine if it occurred before or after you moved into the unit.
Getting your security deposit back depends on the condition in which you are leaving the apartment. This is confirmed during the exit walkthrough. Consulting your initial walkthrough can help you confirm that certain damages were not done by you or other current tenants.
Your apartment lease likely explains when the walkthrough should take place. Most landlords require you to remove all your belongings from the unit before the walkthrough so they can examine all the details of the residence.
Getting your full rental security deposit back also depends on the impression you leave on the landlord. It’s important to thoroughly clean the unit before your walkthrough. This is your chance to show the landlord that you were a respectable tenant and cared for the unit.
Aside from sweeping the floors and wiping the counters, consider going above and beyond by doing a deep clean. This includes:
- Cleaning the inside of the fridge and oven.
- Changing the air conditioning filters.
- Cleaning the washer and/or dryer.
- Cleaning the dishwasher.