Paying a security deposit is required by nearly all landlords in the U.S. The amount of this deposit, however, can vary. Some landlords require you to pay a deposit equal to the amount of your rent. More likely, though, you’ll be paying 2 to 3 times the amount of the rent up-front as security.
We’re not talking about a couple hundred dollars – if you fail to keep the unit in good condition, you could be missing out on THOUSANDS of dollars. That’s money you could use to move into your next unit!
Landlords require a rental security deposit for justifiable reasons. It serves as an incentive to the tenant to keep the unit in good condition while he or she lives there. It also protects the landlord from financial troubles if the tenant stops making their rental payments.
Your security deposit could carry a few benefits for you, too. If you are a good tenant, always pay your rent on time and return the unit in the same condition in which you received it, your landlord could provide you with a good tenant review.
Most leasing companies check your credit and rental history during the application process. As you prepare to move into another unit, you can use your previous landlord’s review to increase your chances of getting accepted by another apartment complex.
Don’t lose out on your security deposit – it could help you move into another unit in the future! There are a few ways to improve your chances of getting your deposit back.
Your lease agreement likely requires you to keep the unit in “good condition.” This applies to the entire length of your lease term, not just the final days during the exit walkthrough.
Keeping your unit clean throughout the time you live there makes it easier to prepare for the walkthrough. However, it also helps you keep the unit free of damages. If you don’t bother to clean the unit for months, you could risk more permanent damage and risk losing your deposit.
One tip for getting your rental security deposit back at the end of your lease is to clean the “forgotten” areas of the unit.
One of the most overlooked areas is the inside of the oven. No landlord wants to spend hours scrubbing baked-on food off of the oven racks. Present a sparkling clean oven to your landlord and you are one giant step closer to getting your deposit back. To make it easier on yourself, clean your oven once a month to prevent food from hardening.
You should also continuously clean the most-used surfaces in your unit, such as countertops. Landlords know that you will use your countertops almost every day, so small scuffs or marks may be acceptable. But food stains, cracks and chips can be costly. Make sure to use the proper cleaning agent for your counters.