Security Deposit Tips

Published on May 20th, 2015

Moving into a new home after renting? Check out these 5 tips to make sure you get your security deposit back, so you can re-purpose that cash.

Many homeowners will tell you that being your own landlord is a whole lot better than having one. Once you move into your new home and start paying on your mortgage, you’re going to be investing in property, rather than burning cash every month by paying rent. Homeownership allows you to build equity and make any changes to your home that you want! While owning a home isn’t always cheap, moving also isn’t cheap, so getting your security deposit back from your rental can really help with the move. Make your move into homeownership as seamless as possible by following these tips.

  1. Document, Document, Document:

This may come before you’re ready to move out, but try and have every little stain that existed before you moved in on file. Every piece of broken wood, faulty windows, missing blinds, dry wall hole, etc. Before signing your contract, walk around your place, take some pictures, and then keep those tucked away for the rental term. Don’t pay for anything you’re not obligated to. Even more than pictures, keep the emails or texts your landlord has sent you. The “Oh yeah, I’ll fix that” text message with no follow through could put some power in your hands!

  1. Messy Marvin

Okay, there are certain things you just can’t fix or it’s not in your power. But, if you have garbage lying around and bottles strewn throughout your place, you’re going to get a cleaning fine. Get a few trash bags, gloves, put on your favorite playlist, and get scrubbing.

  1. Stay on top of things

This is just a great mantra for life, but also comes in handy when dealing with a landlord. Keep your landlord updated on the property on a regular basis. If things need repairs, record them as soon as possible. If you have a broken stove, broken cabinets, or the door lock is broken, don’t spring these on the landlord all at once. Remember: No surprises or you could kiss that deposit goodbye.

  1. Know Your Rights

You didn’t get your deposit back—and you weren’t told why? That’s illegal! Make your landlord give you an itemized list of repairs and costs that he had to make. Don’t let him just take the lump sum and be done with it.

  1. Don’t Be Strong-Armed

Don’t let them be redundant, either. Your landlord can’t charge you for a carpet cleaning, then just purchase a new carpet. If the carpet is 10 years-old and it’s falling apart—it’s probably not your fault that it’s in bad shape. If the paint wasn’t fresh when you moved in, that’s not your fault either. Raise a fuss, and do not back down. If you feel you are being wronged, you probably are.

Aren’t you so excited to be done with this headache already? Renting can be miserable and nothing is worse than bogus charges from a shady landlord. Once you unpack your bags and get settled into your new home, you can feel great in the freedom of being your own landlord. If you’re reading this now and realizing that you want to own your own home, it’s best to start this journey by speaking with a qualified mortgage professional. For more information about getting your first mortgage, please feel free to contact the Housing Buzz Blog team.

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