By Dwayne Carlton, CPM
Security deposits on rental apartments and homes are generally equal to one month’s rent. That’s a lot of money that you do not want to waste! Here are three tips to help you get your security deposit back when vacating your rental property.
1. Create A Move-In Checklist: It’s so simple, but so easy to skip. When using a move-in checklist a tenant analyzes the property and inspects for any damage or excessive wear it might have before moving in. Taking pictures of small details like cracks in the tile, stains on carpet or scuffs on appliances is also an excellent way of documenting any damages before your arrival. Keep a copy of your checklist and turn a copy in to your landlord.
Property management companies, such as Ellison Property Management, include checklists with every lease. The checklist is for your protection however ironically, with such a simple way to prove to your landlord that the damage done to a property was not your fault; many residents do not take time to return the checklist.
2. Pay Your Rent On Time: Most leases include a provision for late fees if the rent is not paid by a specified date. If you pay late, include payment for the late fees. Renters often don’t realize that unpaid late fees may be subtracted from their deposit when vacating a property. Slow payment takes money out of your pocket. Timely payment saves money and it may also help you in your next rental. According to Dwayne L. Carlton, CPM at Ellison Property Management, “paying on time will help with references as you move on.”
3. Watch Your Repair Expenses: Landlords should pay for repairs that are their responsibility, but if a tenant creates the necessity for the repair they may be asked to pay the bill. For example, if a plumber is sent to unstop a clogged toilet and discovers that a brush, toy, etc. was the source of the clog, then the tenant may be charged for the expense. If the charge for repair is not paid, it may be deducted from the tenant’s security deposit when they vacate. Understand what your responsibilities are for maintenance as specified in the lease and take care of them. Your security deposit is your money.
With a little care and attention, you can ensure your money returns to your pocket when you move.
Dwayne L. Carlton, CPM is the owner of Ellison Property Management in Ocala, Florida. Ellison has a wide variety of rental apartments and rental homes for lease in the Ocala / Marion County. For more information, visit them online at WeLeaseOcala.com or call (352) 351-0055.