Most renters don't think about their apartment security deposit refund until they're getting ready to clean for move out. But smart renters think about it before they step foot into their new home. Here's what you need to know about maximizing the return of your deposit – prior to moving in.
- Conduct a move-in inspection with your apartment manager.
Generally, apartment management companies like Prometheus offer an apartment walkthrough to new residents (or Neighbors, as we call them), to ensure everything is in tip-top shape. Document everything and return the move-in checklist to the office as soon as possible. If your manager doesn't offer this service, you should still note any damage and let the office know. Come move-out day, there'll be no misunderstandings.
- Check before making any changes.
Most renters know not to undertake major projects like tearing up carpeting … and who wants to do that in a rental, anyway? Small changes can just as easily transform an apartment into home sweet home. Just be sure that whatever you do can be quickly undone, and the apartment can be restored to the condition it was in before you moved in. You can usually remedy nail holes with spackle, but mounting that flat-screen TV can lead to major dry-wall damage – and major apartment security deposit deductions. Some managers also have rules about painting, hanging shades, applying adhesive shelf paper, changing cabinet hardware or swapping out your showerhead – be sure to ask first.
- Report maintenance issues ASAP.
Little issues can turn into big problems. A slow leak under your bathroom sink isn't just an annoyance – it can lead to water damage or mold, and you could be held responsible if you don't report a problem that leads to a major mishap. Promptly report any issues to get them fixed, for both your sakes.
- Mind your four-legged friends.
Even the best-behaved pet can track mud inside or have an occasional accident. A dirty or stained carpet isn't considered normal wear and tear, and you'll usually be expected to clean it before you go. But pet damage can be worse – the stain and smell can saturate the padding or subfloor, which are expensive to replace. Our advice: Add area rugs to protect your apartment's flooring.
- Keep track of your keys.
You might receive keys, fobs or remotes for common areas, gates and garages. Be sure to keep track of them so that you're not charged for a replacement. If you're not using them all, tuck them in a safe and memorable place.
At Prometheus, we want to be able to return as much of your apartment security deposit as possible. Before you move in, think about your lifestyle and how you can avoid any charges. You'll appreciate the payoff come move-out day.
Want more tips on maximizing your deposit refund? Check out our 7 tips on maximizing your refund when you're preparing to move out.