All landlords have to abide by state laws when it comes to your security deposit, but you also have to follow the rules of your contract to ensure the process goes according to plan. Before you move out of your rental, make the necessary repairs and clean the unit thoroughly to increase your chance of getting back your entire security deposit.
Inspect Each Room
When you move into the rental, the landlord gives you a checklist for marking any damage you see and reporting it to the office. Make sure to leave your rental in the exact same condition as it was before you moved in. However, know your landlord’s expectations so that you don’t over- or under-clean the rental.
Document Your Work
Whether you repair holes in walls or pet messes on the carpet, document it all. Take all of your large furniture to a storage unit while you clean the rental from top to bottom. Before you leave, take pictures or videos of the rental as proof that you left it in pristine condition.
Pay Your Bills
Don’t leave any bills unpaid, such as water bills and rent. If you do, the landlord can use part or all of your deposit to cover the costs. In addition, your security deposit also covers any damages or messes you left in the rental.
Share Your Forwarding Address
Give your landlord your forwarding address on the day you leave the rental. Depending on state laws, landlords can keep the deposit if they cannot locate you within a specified time.
When you’re moving out, a storage unit offers a useful place to keep your belongings while you clean your rental. With your belongings out of your way, you can shampoo stains out of the carpet and have an open space in which to work and focus on your chores.
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