In most cases, when you rent an apartment, you are asked to deposit a security deposit. This money is meant to help protect the landlord if you cannot pay rent or cause any property damage.
But, when your lease expires and you are ready to leave the property, you are entitled to get your security deposit back. You get your full tenancy deposit, provided you have upheld your end of the lease.
Let’s say you have followed all the conditions and kept your end of the deal. But how do you go about getting your security deposit back?
This article will take you through things you need to know to make deposit recovery claims.
How To Get Your Tenancy Deposit Back?
When it comes to renting an apartment, every tenant knows they are expected to deposit a tenancy deposit or security money. Now the charge of the tenancy deposit might vary on what kind of property you are renting.
Once our lease is over, you can claim the tenancy deposit legally. However, here is a catch. There are only limited chances where you get back the complete security money.
This is because if you damage the property in any way possible, the damage expenses will be charged from the tenancy money.
Hence, to ensure that you get back the complete tenancy deposit, there are a few stipulations you need to follow.
1. Inspect The Property Before Your Move-In
The very first step to ensure that you get back all your security money starts even before you step into the new rental property. Before you sign the lease, you must visit the property with the landlord and see its condition.
Visiting the property before moving in guarantees that there are no pre-existing issues or damages from the previous tenant. And even if there are a few damages, the previous tenants are held responsible.
Things to look for –
- Broken doors and windows.
- Large hole in the walls.
- Sign of water damage.
- Damaged appliances.
- Faulty knobs.
In addition to the damage that can be seen, look for the signs of damage. Though these are not because of you, by the time you leave this property, these damages might become prominent.
In fact, you can take images of the areas that seem out of places of damaged. This will help you prove that you were not the one behind the damage.
2. Take Care Of The Property
Perhaps one of the most common reasons why tenants are not able to get their full tenancy deposit is because of the filth and damage they accrue. Certain damages can cost a lot of money for the landlords to fix.
Hence, tenants should heed the followings:
- Keep It Clean: If you are living in a rental property, keep it clean as if it’s your property. This also means being diligent against the spills that cause stains.
- Avoid Damaging: No matter what happens, do not damage the property. Things like broken bulbs, dusty blinds, or hammering nails on the walls fall under normal wear and tear. But things like broken doors, windows, or large holes will ensure a deduction from the tenancy deposit.
3. Know The Term Of Your Lease
A lease is a legal binding of the property that lays down all the rules and regulations for the tenant. Failure to uphold these rules and regulations can end up in forfeiting the tenancy deposit.
That’s why it is crucial that you read the lease document properly and ensure that you understand everything. The most relevant information that will ensure your tenancy deposit is as follows:
- Proper Use Policies – A rental property doesn’t mean you can use everything the property offers. There are certain limitations that restrict you from using several parts of the property. The proper-use policies define what you can do and cannot do inside the property.
- Move-Out Notice – Many lease agreements come with a move-out notice period before leaving the property. The notice period is usually a month, regardless of when your lease is going to expire. If you do not follow the move-out policies, your landlord is entitled to keep some of your tenancy deposit.
- Alteration Policies – Some people believe that just because they are renting the property, they can renovate the property according to their needs. Well, it is only possible when your alteration policy allows that.
- Security Deposit Return Policies – Finally, look for a security deposit return policy. This policy clearly outlines the procedure by which you will be able to get back your security deposit at the expiration of the lease.
4. Request An Exit Inspection
Once your lease is expired and ready to move out, request your landlord to accompany you on the final move-out inspection. This will show you have taken care of the property and have maintained it in good condition.
Once that is done, ensure that you are giving the property a deep clean before leaving. The goal here is to return the property back to its top condition. In addition, if your landlord has some extra cleaning to do, it might affect the amount of tenancy deposit you receive at the end of the lease.
Cleaning the property allows you to project yourself as a responsible tenant and put yourself under good lights. So, even if there are any minor issues with the property, the landlord might just overlook it.
Know Your Rights!
It is important to know your tenant right when it comes down to getting your security money back. Most leases allow the landlord to give 30 days to return their tenant’s security deposit. While this is just the standard, the time might vary from lease to lease.
There is a possibility that your landlord will ask for a deduction based on the property damage. If that is the case, don’t hesitate to ask them for an itemized list of deductions and damages.
Finally, ensure to give your landlord the new address so that they can get in touch with you and send back your tenancy deposit.