If you want to ensure you get back your deposit for an apartment, you should start by reviewing your lease. Your lease agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your landlord. The contract should include fees, such as your monthly rent and rental security deposit amount, the tenant’s obligations and the landlord’s responsibilities.
It’s important to review your lease carefully before signing it and before you vacate an apartment. Doing so will help you understand the expectations that you must fulfill to retain your deposit after you have moved out of the apartment. Learn what to look for in your lease below.
One of the most essential steps in securing your rent deposit is to review your rental agreement. If you do not have a copy of your lease, you can contact your landlord or your apartment office to obtain one.
Before you signed your lease, you had the opportunity to review that lease in full before agreeing to it. Your lease not only includes your rent and deposit amount but also the provisions for vacating your apartment.
Your lease may include expectations such as:
- Leaving the apartment unit in the same condition that it was in before you moved in
- Removing all of your items from the unit
- Cleaning the unit before you vacate
- Turning in all keys, including any mailbox keys
- Completing a walkthrough with your landlord at the end of your lease term
Part or all of your rental security deposit may be withheld if you do not meet the expectations you agreed to when signing your lease.
Lease contracts may vary, and state legislation can change what expectations may or may not be included within your contract. Some lease agreements may provide helpful room-by-room expectations so that you do not miss anything when you clean your apartment.
Your lease agreement may also include answers to important questions that you may have, such as:
- Do you need to fill in any nail holes that you have created?
- Are you required to paint?
- How soon can you disconnect your utilities?
- Are you required to change out any of the lightbulbs?
- Do you need to clean any heating or cooling vents?
- Do you need to clean appliances, such as your oven or refrigerator?
If you still have questions about your rental security deposit and lease expectations, you can always contact your apartment office or landlord so that you do not put your rent deposit at risk.