Whenever you rented your home or apartment, you likely had to give a security or tenancy deposit to your landlord. This deposit is meant to help cover the cost of any damage that occurs under your ownership or cover the cost of if you can’t afford rent.
However, if you take good care of the place and you make all your rent payments, you should be eligible to get your deposit back. You can then use this money to help pay off bills or to put a deposit down on a new home. To get your deposit back, however, there are certain steps you’re going to want to take.
Check your lease
Whenever you’re thinking of moving from your rental and into a new home, the first thing you’ll want to do is check your lease. Most landlords will require you to give 30 days notice, pay your last month of rent, and leave the rental in the condition you found it in.
Most of the time, move-out procedures will be clearly outlined within your lease. If they aren’t, you need to clarify your lease with your landlord as soon as possible, so that you don’t end up overlooking something you should have taken care of.
Give proper notice
Once you know how much notice is required, give your landlord proper notice and pay your last month of rent. If you don’t give proper notice and pay your last month of rent, they can withhold your security deposit.
The best way to give notice is to verbally check in with your landlord, but also provide written notice. The notice should state what day you’re writing the notice and when you’re planning on leaving. Give a copy to your landlord and keep a copy for yourself. Ask your landlord to acknowledge they received notice.
Start making repairs
Some wear and tear is to be expected — typically, you won’t be held responsible for things such as small chips in the paint. You will be held responsible for large repairs that go beyond normal wear and tear. For example, if your child punched a hole in the wall, you’re responsible for the repair.
Start making repairs before your landlord walks through. Stains, dents in the walls, broken light fixtures — any damages that have occurred while you’re living on the property will need to be repaired if you want your deposit back.
Do a deep clean
Most landlords require you to thoroughly clean your house. This includes cleaning appliances, wiping down baseboards, cleaning off ceiling fans, and more. These are tasks that go beyond what you might typically do during routine cleaning.
Some homeowners struggle to clean their rental and get ready to move, which is why there are professional cleaning services that specialize in end of tenancy cleaning. To find a professional near you, all you have to do is search for terms such as “end of tenancy cleaning london”, and you’ll get a list of local cleaning companies.
Move everything out
Once everything is repaired and cleaned, start moving things out! While it might be tempting to leave behind that old armchair that you hate, don’t. If you leave items behind and your landlord has to move them, they can use your deposit as a way to dispose of the items.
Ideally, you’ll have everything moved out several days in advance. This way, you can go through and make any last-minute repairs and finish cleaning. This also allows you to check for any items you forgot, such as those Christmas decorations in the attic.
Do a move-out inspection
Once you think you have everything repaired, cleaned, and moved out, ask your landlord to do a move-out inspection with you. During this inspection, you and your landlord walk through the house together, and they point out any concerns and give you a chance to fix them.
If your landlord refuses to do a move-out inspection with you, make sure to take photos of the condition that you left the house then. That way, if there are any concerns later, you can use the photos as a way to prove that you did leave the house in good condition.
Moving out of any home can be stressful, but it can be even more stressful when you’re scrambling to get your deposit back. Reviewing your lease now and having a plan in place to take any necessary steps can help relieve some of that stress. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional moving company or cleaning service to help you.