How to Get Your Apartment Security Deposit Back
Avoid Losing Out on Your Security Deposit
If you are an apartment renter, then chances are you are very familiar with the security deposit. This can be one of the most contentious portions of any apt lease. Almost all leases require them, and they can be a significant amount of money. So let's dive into what exactly they are, what they can be used for, and most importantly, how renters can get the entire amount back.
What is an Apartment Security Deposit
According to the balance, a security deposit is money that the tenant pays to the apartment management company or landlord before he or she takes possession of the unit.
How much the deposit is will depend on the landlord and the state in which you live in. Usually it's customary for this to be equal to one month's rent. Non-payment of it is a big reason why many apt applications are rejected.
Pro Tip: If you cannot come up with the funds, you might consider renting a larger apt complex in your city. The amounts are substantially less. And many communities may waive the deposit after you are approved.
Also you should know that they aren't required by law! They are just so common that many renters believe they are.
Purpose of the Security Deposit
It's to protect the landlord from any damage caused by the tenant. It's possible that many of you have told one of you previous landlords that you are going to apply the deposit to your last month's rent. This isn't what it is supposed to be used for!
When you read the apartment lease, there will be a section that discusses normal wear and tear. So let's discuss what these terms mean and how they are applied in a lease.
Now your landlord cannot deduct any monies that are the result of normal wear and tear. Here are some examples as they apply in typical everyday life.
- Faded paint in the interior of the unit
- Worn door knobs and locks that are the result of everyday use.
- Small stains in the carpeting, as well as worn carpeting that is cause from tenants living inside the dwelling
- Light scratches in wood floors
However, if the renter is the cause of any damage whether intentional or unintentional, charges can be assessed. These discuss these in more detail
- Heavy stains in the carpet. Examples might be pet urine stains caused by a pet or wine
- Heavy scratches in wood floors that can be seen and felt.
- Holes in the wall
- Chipped bathroom tile or cracked windows
- Damaged appliances
As one can see, these latter examples will result in costly repairs. This is the intention of what a security deposit will be used to cover.
How to Get a Full Refund
In order for you to get this amount returned to you in full, you must leave your rental home free of damage. Now, many renters believe they have to leave the place in pristine condition. This is not true. You shouldn't be charged a cleaning fee.
Also you cannot be behind in your rent. If you don't pay the last month's rent, you can be sure you won't get that deposit back, plus the landlord might take you to court!
So you left your apartment free of damage and you have paid all your rent, is there anything more?
Yes, be sure and leave a forwarding address. Apartment management can't keep your money, but they also won't be liable for returning the security deposit until they know where to send it.
So be sure and leave an address.
There you have it. That's how to get all of your deposit money back!