If it’s time to move, it’s also time to pack up your belongings, clean your space, and collect your possibly long-forgotten rental deposit. Depending on where you live, this deposit can be in an amount anywhere between one and three months of your total rent! That’s a hefty chunk of change that will certainly help with your moving expenses. Thus, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to ensure you receive your entire deposit back in your bank account.
- Plan Wisely: Most leases contain a stipulation that 30-day advanced notice is required to vacate the space in order to obtain the deposit fee back. So, make sure you are ahead of the game and notifying your landlord of your plans in plenty of time.
- Clean: The largest portion of your deposit is likely being used towards cleaning and any damages you incur on the property while living there. First things first, don’t break or damage anything! Of course no one plans for this, but realize that this space is being leased to you and isn’t truly yours – so you need to treat the space with care. And, clean it well. The better you clean the showers, mop the floor, and vacuum the carpets, the less that will need to be spent from your landlord’s pocketbook. You want the property to look as good as, if not better than, when you found it the day you vacate.
- Examine Your Lease Agreement: Read through the lease agreement very carefully before you convey your intentions to leave. You want to be sure you comply with all of the necessary items in the contract before you approach your landlord with your deposit money refund expectations in order to avoid any misunderstandings. Not only will this expedite the process of returning your funds, you’ll just come across as that much more informed and responsible.
- Follow Up: If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your landlord’s deductions from your final refund, speak up. You may be able to calmly and articulately negotiate smaller item deductions, such as carpet shampooing charges and window cleaning services. And, if you had any of these services performed on your own dime before moving out, be sure to provide your landlord with your receipts as evidence and proof. Be clear as you are following up as well, with what you want. For example, “I expect my deposit to be returned within 10 business days.” This is no time to be passive. You really must come across as intelligent and informative.
Thus, with proper planning, a good deep clean, firing up your intelligence, and following up, you’ll surely recuperate all you’re entitled to when moving out of your rental and into your next space.