Skip to Content

How to Secure Your Security Deposit Return: 5 Must-Know Steps

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
As with most renters, your goal is probably to receive your security deposit upon moving out. Did you know that taking good care of the property is essential for ensuring the return of your security deposit?

Necessary property repairs are a significant reason landlords and property managers withhold security deposit funds. It’s sensible to lessen the number of repairs that might be needed after your departure.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

While you’re not responsible for the house’s condition before moving in, the landlord could attribute any undocumented damages to you. Therefore, before moving in, inspect each room and document the home’s condition.

Don’t forget to fill out and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist from your landlord. If a checklist isn’t given, jot down any damage, no matter how small, and any repairs that might be required. Furthermore, capture photos of everything you write down. This will be valuable in case of a future dispute.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

To ensure a higher chance of getting your security deposit back, keep your rental home consistently clean. The longer you live in the rental, the more essential it is to keep up with your cleaning routine.

Surface cleaning can handle short-term dirt, but deep cleanings are required for long-term rentals. Include scrubbing grout, wiping kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and basic maintenance in your deep cleaning.

Additionally, clear hair from drains, replace light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Regularly completing these tasks will help ensure your landlord doesn’t deduct from your security deposit for cleaning.

Practice caution when decorating

To help ensure you get your full security deposit back, be extra cautious when decorating your rental home. Don’t make many holes in the walls or any permanent changes, as this could lead to costly repairs you’d have to cover.

Rather than using nails or screws for your décor, opt for non-marking, removable fasteners. These fasteners can hold items of various weights and sizes and generally don’t damage the wall when removed.

Place coasters or pads beneath table legs, couches, and other heavy furniture to safeguard your floors during moves. Floor damage often occurs and is expensive to repair; by planning ahead and using the right supplies, you can prevent floor scraping or carpet tearing.

Minimize damage by pets or children

With kids or pets in your rental, it’s important to take steps to minimize potential damage to painted walls and other surfaces.

To protect walls from scrapes, scratches, and stains, place furniture or other items against them. Rugs not only protect floors but also create a comfortable play area for your children.

Designating specific areas for pets or playtime can help limit damage to a few rooms. Employ quality cleaning materials, like magic erasers, to erase scuffs and stray scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

Make sure to communicate with your landlord regularly and truthfully. Reporting maintenance problems to your landlord promptly enables quick resolution. Taking care of maintenance or minor repairs can stave off major issues later.

Any damages identified after you vacate are your responsibility. Generally, the landlord covers repair costs during your lease. When you report maintenance issues, you improve the chances of getting your full security deposit back after moving out.

Planning to move? Let Real Property Management Lakeshore help you discover the perfect home in Appleton and the surrounding areas. Today, contact us for personalized assistance, or browse our available rentals to discover your options.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details