Six simple tips to ensure you get your security deposit back

Get your security deposit back from your landlord.

There are many variables to consider when you are deciding to rent an apartment. The decision to become a tenant can be rewarding but also challenging. If you decide to rent, following these six simple tips can minimize your risk and maximize your success for ensuring you get your security deposit back from your landlord when you move out.

  • Your lease- You should have a written rental agreement or lease agreement. This is the most important aspect of an apartment and all other features depend on it. Your lease is a binding legal document, and it is imperative to understand everything before you sign.
  • Know and read your lease- Make sure you read and fully comprehend all the terms and conditions of the lease agreement prior to signing. Note what must be done in order to get your deposit back. If something is unclear or you do not understand, ask for clarification from the landlord.
  • Document condition- Carefully inspect your potential new residence and document all existing problems before signing the lease. Make a checklist of all of the rooms and detail the condition of each one. If you have a digital camera, take pictures of every room, and every blemish for your records.
  • Maintain condition- Be clean and take good care of your rental property. Make sure you leave your apartment in the same condition it was when you moved in. In addition, if you do cause damage, make sure it gets fixed.
  • Arrange an inspection- Before you move out, make sure that you do a full walk-through with the landlord or property manager. That way they can point out items that should be attended to and repaired.
  • Know your rights- Specific laws vary by state and sometimes by county, so make sure you know your rights as a renter in your community and hold your landlord to the law. If necessary, small claims court is there if you need to settle a disagreement.

Remember: Getting your deposit back isn’t terribly difficult. By following these six simple tips you can minimize your risk and maximize your success for ensuring you get your security deposit back from your landlord when you move out. For more information on Rental Real Estate or to ask an expert, please click on the link below.

Michigan State University Extension offers financial management and home ownership education classes. For more information of classes in your area, go to either the events page or the MI Money Health webpage.

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