The Simple Scrub Guide to Salvaging Your Security Deposit
Moving is exhausting. You know what makes it easier? That 500 bucks you had to cough up when you first moved into this apartment. Security deposits can be tricky to get back in one piece. But there are ways to get your security deposit back that don’t involve small claims court. (There are ways to get your security deposit back that do involve small claims court, but let’s try to avoid that.)
If you’re getting ready to move, your mind may be on that extra chunk of change. If you’re looking around your apartment and you’re noticing that things are, well, less than pristine, you may be wondering if getting your money back is even possible. We’re here to tell you that it is. In fact, we’ve made a comprehensive guide to get as much of your security deposit back as possible.
1. Plan Ahead
Once you know your moving date, start thinking about moving. If your lease is month-to-month, you may only have a few weeks before you’re leaving. Most landlords require a 30 or 60 day notice before moving. If that is the case, consider when you’ll give that notice and when you want to move. Having more time in your current home may actually benefit you when you’re trying to get your security deposit back.
Then, make a plan for packing, moving and cleaning. Reach out to friends and family and ask for their help in the moving process. Make lists for yourself to stay organized, and set reminders on your phone to check off each item on your list.
In doing all this, you will feel more confident and prepared to move. This will help get your mind straight and focus on what needs to be done to get your security deposit back.
2. Clean Before You Move
One of the most obvious ways to get your security deposit back is to clean once you move out. Before you roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty, get in touch with your landlord or read your lease agreement to understand what all is expected of you upon moving out. A quick sweep with a broom and wiping down the counters may not always suffice. Remember that the more work you leave for your landlord, the more money they will likely keep for cleaning fees.
Start by wiping down all the surfaces in your place, including counters, walls and baseboards. For those hard-to-reach places, pull out a scrub brush that has a nice, long handle. An all-purpose cleaner will help your cleaning endeavors greatly, so be sure to stock up. Next, tackle the bathroom. Leaving caked-on grime may knock a few dollars off your deposit, so try a tougher, more abrasive scrubber for your bathroom tiles and shower. Wipe down all the surfaces in your bathroom with your all-purpose cleaner and clean that toilet, inside and out!
Go through the bedrooms and living room with a broom, a duster and a mop. Your landlord will notice if you spent time cleaning, and will likely give you more of your deposit back if they don’t have to take the time to deep clean your home after you move out. Again, find out what is expected of you ahead of moving out. Clean the apartment and fix anything that is bigger than simple wear and tear.
Generally, normal wear and tear is not the tenant’s responsibility, but this can vary state to state and lease to lease. Normal wear and tear typically includes minor scuffs on wood floors, holes from nails in the wall and chipped paint. Any further damage or major messes, stains or system failures (such as air conditioning) will likely result in at least a partial loss of your deposit. If you planned ahead, you can take the proper steps to get some of these systems or stains fixed before you move out. It may be hard to get your full deposit back, but if you do it right, you can at least get a chunk of it back!
3. Follow Up With Your Landlord
Finally, it doesn’t hurt to follow up with your landlord. If you know when they are doing a walkthrough of your place, you can plan accordingly to ask about your deposit and the condition of the apartment. In some cases, you may even be able to join your landlord during their final inspection.
Some states have laws in place where landlords have to return your security deposit by a certain date after you move out. Typically, this date is between a week to a month of your lease being up. Learn what your state’s law is and when you can expect to receive your security deposit back.
Stay in touch with your landlord until you get your money back, as well. It is a good idea to keep their contact information and follow up with them. Ask your landlord if they found the space in an acceptable condition, and when you can expect to see that deposit. Some landlords may see a lack of communication as an indication that you have forgotten about the deposit, and they may try to keep it if possible. Don’t be rude or hostile when asking about it, but be firm and let them know you expect to see at least some of it again (so long as you didn’t completely destroy your apartment).
Be Confident In Your Move
Moving is already stressful. Find ways to make moving easier, and be confident that you will get your security deposit back. Plan ahead, clean your home thoroughly and keep in contact with your landlord during the moving process. When you are equipped with confidence — and cleaning products from The Simple Scrub — your move will be breezy.
The Simple Scrub is made to make cleaning (and therefore moving) easier. Whether you need an effective all-purpose cleaner, microfiber towels or a scrub brush for your home, go with The Simple Scrub. Once you get your deposit back, you can relish in your riches and put that money toward your new home, or go all out and get all sorts of Simple Scrub products. You’ll be glad you did.