How to Get Your Security Deposit Back
Renting a home or an apartment comes with many unknowns. How are your new neighbors going to be? Will your landlord be fair and just? How is the parking at night when everyone is home? Experience Alabama movers know that renting is always a gamble in some aspects, even with the most research however there are things you don’t need to leave to chance. Your security deposit is an investment and you should not leave it up to chance on whether you receive it back, especially if you have been a tidy tenant. Local Alabama movers have quite a bit of experience with moving and therefore have put together a list of tasks you can do to make sure you get your security deposit back.
1. When moving into a new apartment complete an apartment rental inspection checklist.
These rental inspections checklist should be provided by your landlord or apartment complex management company, if you are not provided a checklist, search online for one you can print off and complete. Alabama movers suggest you have this document with you as soon as you arrive to your new home. Complete the form completely and pay extra attention to all areas of your home, prior to unpacking. Make sure all appliances and faucets work, also check walls, tile, and carpets for any blemishes. Be sure to note any imperfections you notice. Once you have completed the checklist sign and date a copy of the checklist. Keep a copy for yourself and provide your landlord with a copy. If possible, take images or videos of your new apartment before moving in as well. This will further serve as proof, should any discrepancies arise when it is time for you to move out.
2. Read and know your lease and state laws well.
Does it mention any factors that need to be met for you to get your security deposit back? Is a certain amount of notice required prior to moving out? Some leases may renew automatically and if you attempt to cancel that lease you may lose your security deposit or worse you may need to break a brand-new lease. As good practice, you should provide your landlord with adequate notice of your decision to leave. Also, a few months prior to moving out do some research on Alabama’s real estate laws and security deposit laws. Write a letter to your landlord reminding them about the law, in a friendly manner. Ideally, this lets them know you are aware of your rights and expect to get your security deposit back upon leaving, or at least receive a detailed explanation of the charges incurred.
3. Take the time to restore your place.
When packing your items, take the time to restore your place to its original condition. Patch any holes you made, repaint the walls to its original color or white, fix any items that may be broken in your home. If you have a maintenance person, ensure they stop by a few weeks prior to moving out. Leave your home as clean as you can. Clean the fridge, vacuum well, mop all floors and wipe down any windows and fans.
4. Take pictures after moving out.
Your landlord could attempt to blame you for damages that occurred after leaving and may prevent you from being able to get your security deposit back. After moving all your items out and cleaning properly, take pictures and videos of your apartment and the condition in which you left it.
5. Request a walk-through of the apartment and leave a forwarding address.
If your landlord agrees to a walk through you have a chance to see any issues they may have firsthand and possibly be able to fix them yourself prior to returning the keys. Alabama movers also suggest leaving a forwarding address for the landlord to send your security deposit.