How to get a security deposit back before moving out

Usually, when you want to rent a property, you need to pay a security deposit upfront since landlords cannot know your true personality, whether you will pay the rent on time, keep the property in good condition, etc. For this reason, they ask for a deposit which will be returned under certain condition. Most people believe they will not receive the deposit back. However, you will get it back but only if you respect all the conditions. So before you start organizing your move and looking for movers in Maryland, you should read how to get a security deposit back before moving out. 

Get your security deposit back before moving out by reading your lease 

When you decide to move, most people start to panic. It seems like you have too many things to do and not enough time. Then, they rush to find moving services Baltimore, gather packing supplies, etc. However, you should not repeat the same mistake. There is no need to panic and rush anything. Just on the contrary, gather your documents first. Since you want your deposit back, read your lease. Every lease agreement should have a clause on terminating your contract. In this section, you should find all the necessary information. First, see when you need to notify your landlord about your departure. Usually, landlords require between 30 to 60 days in advance. However, this depends on your landlords’ preference. Then, follow all the instructions given in your lease agreement. Following the guidelines from your lease agreement is the best solution. 

person reading How to get a security deposit back before moving out
Make sure to read your lease carefully

Informing your landlord 

You should not move out without informing your landlord. In fact, you will not get your deposit back if you disappear without a word. Again, you should check when and how to notify your landlord. Usually, landlords will ask for a letter. You should keep it simple. State the reasons for termination, the date of your move, when local movers MD will come for the pickup, and the new address. End the letter with the date and your signature. Make sure to have a copy of the letter and receipt from the post office. However, it is quite possible that you can write an email instead of an actual handwritten letter to notify your landlord. If you are not sure, check with your landlord or refer to your lease. You should always have a proof that you notified your landlord, either in digital or paper form.  

Get your security deposit back before moving out by making small repairs 

First, you need to pay last month’s rent. You should not count your deposit as your last month’s rent. Your landlord might find something that needs to be cleaned or even fixed. For this reason, be careful. It is better to pay your last rent and use the deposit money for something else. In addition to this, pay attention to the following things. They usually need to be repaired.  

  • Replace light bulbs and batteries around the house 
  • Repaint the walls in their original color 
  • Patch any small holes that you might have made 
  • Change the shower curtain 
  • Use a bleach pen and remove any stains in your bathroom 
  • Replace the pans that you might have damaged 
  • Anything else you find problematic in your home 
white ceramic sink
You need to clean your bathroom thoroughly

Clean your home 

Before moving out, you need to clean your home. This is even more important when moving out of a rented place. The reason is simple. You will not get your security deposit back if the place is dirty. Simply vacuuming the floors is not enough. You will need to clean everything. It would be easier if you move your items out. Find short-term storage and transport some of your things there. Then, start by dusting off everything. Do not forget about your ceiling and corners. Next, mop all the floors. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom floors as those are usually the dirtiest. Then, use disinfectants to clean every single surface. Again, clean your bathroom and kitchen more thoroughly as landlords usually pay closer attention to these two rooms. Lastly, ask your landlord for a walk-through.  

Moving out of the home

Now, it is time to move out. First, you have to move your stuff out. Nothing will anger your landlord more than leaving your items behind. Since you are in a hurry, forgetting some small items is expected. However, leaving behind large items that are in horrible condition will cause problems. Your landlord will have to hire someone to remove your stuff. This means paying for removal services with your deposit money. For this reason, check everything twice. Then, it is important to return the keys. The landlord will charge you for a replacement if you fail to return them. Lastly, you should receive your security deposit in 30 days after your moving day. You need to understand the landlord and tenant laws in order to protect your money. If your landlord fails to refund you, you need to file a civil suit at your local court. 

woman counting dollars
Landlords have 30 days to give your money back

Get your security deposit back before moving out by protecting yourself from the beginning 

If you are about to rent another place, here is how to protect your deposit money from the start. 

  • Move-In Inspection – inspect your apartment together with your landlord before moving in. 
  • Take photos – if your landlord does not have time, take photos of all the pre-existing damage and send it to your landlord as soon as possible.  
  • Be careful – if you are moving your furniture in, try not to scratch floors, cause property damage, etc. 
  • Read the lease – do not sign anything before you read the entire contract carefully. 
  • Always keep the place in good condition – accidents can happen. However, be more careful. 
  • Pay your rent on time – there is no need to explain this point. Be a responsible and reliable tenant. If you show respect, the landlord will reciprocate in most cases.  
  • Move-Out Inspection – again, together with your landlord.