Make Sure You Get Your Security Deposit Refund

Upon signing a rental lease for an apartment, your new landlord will most likely require a security deposit (typically the cost of one month’s rent). Security Deposit Refund, TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Worcester, MAThis deposit ensures that you will not cause any damage to the apartment, and if you do, the landlord will keep the money to cover the cost of repairs.

However, one problem that comes up often in renter/landlord relationships is that many landlords tend to withhold the security deposit refund despite the renter not doing any harm to the rental. Some landlords may even revoke your security deposit refund if there are nail holes in the wall or if you forget to vacuum before moving out. You will not know how lenient your landlord is about giving you a security deposit refund until the end of the lease, so it’s best to do everything in your power to ensure that you do receive what you deserve. Unfortunately, attempting to fight with the landlord over the security deposit refund typically is more effort than it is worth, and chances of winning are low.

The following list from Oh My Apartment outlines which places in your apartment you should examine before it comes time to move out in order to ensure that you receive the full security deposit refund.

End of Your Lease: 5 Places to Look before Your Landlord Does

At the end of your lease, you can expect your landlord to inspect the apartment. It’s a sad thought, but some landlords do all that they can to not return the full security deposit or any of it. They look at everything closely, and try to find the smallest defect to charge tenants for. You’ll be amazed at the places your landlord looks, and knowing what they are can help you hold on to more of your security deposit.

1 – Walls and Doors

After you take everything down from the walls, check for nail holes. Your landlord will deduct money from your security deposit if you don’t fill the holes yourself. If there many holes all over the walls, you might consider filling them and painting the walls. If you leave it to the landlord to paint, it may cost you double or triple the costs of doing it yourself. Check doors as well, especially in bedrooms where you may have hung up full length mirrors.

2 – Behind the Fridge

You may not have ventured behind the fridge during your entire tenancy, but your landlord will. He’ll move the fridge out to look for damages to the floor and to the back and side walls. If the refrigerator is near the stove, there might be splashes of oil and sauce on the walls behind the fridge that you’ll want to clean up before your landlords sees it. Don’t forget to clean the fridge itself, including the shelves.

3 – Behind the Toilet

Cleaning the toilet is great, but you have to do a thorough job and clean behind it. Dirt and grime on the toilet structure itself is gross, and the landlord may hire someone to clean it. Those costs will come right out of your security deposit. Save money by doing it yourself, no matter how unpleasant it is.

4 – In the Oven

It’s tough trying to clean an oven, unless it’s a self-cleaning one. It’s even harder to clean if you put it off until you move out. You may not think it’s a big deal, but your landlord will. An oven is a major appliance that will attract the next tenant, and if it’s in poor condition, the landlord may miss opportunities to rent the apartment. Don’t give your landlord an opportunity to deduct money from your deposit over an oven. You can make a homemade oven powder, mixing borax with washing soda if you’re concerned about the chemicals of store-bought oven cleaners.

5 – Inside Cabinets

Your landlord did not open your cabinets during the rent term, unless he had to make repairs. When you move out, he’ll go through them looking for damages and dirt. You need to clean it out first, so that he doesn’t find any. Be careful not to damage the cabinets as you try to clean or repair them yourself.

A general rule to follow is to repair or clean filth and discolored areas in the apartment. Those are the subtle problems that your landlord will be looking for, aside from obvious repairs.

Another tip for receiving your full security deposit refund is to take photographs of the state of the apartment on the day that you move in. If you notice any dents or broken items in the apartment, point them out to your landlord before they have the chance to blame it on you.

Along with focusing on getting your security deposit refund, it is also recommended that you seek out renters insurance. Should anything that is completely out of your control cause damage to the apartment or if your possessions are damaged or stolen, you and your belongings will be covered under renters insurance. While the purpose of a security deposit is to protect the landlord, renters insurance will protect you.

If you would like to learn more about renters insurance, please contact the agents at TJ Woods Insurance Agency. We would be happy to assist you in securing your rental.

Have you ever had a landlord dispute your security deposit refund? Please share in the comment section below!