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When you sign a lease and move into a rental complex you are almost always required to pay a security deposit. Sometimes termed a bond or damage deposit, this is a certain amount of money that you will get back when you move out, provided the rental unit has been left in the same condition as when you moved in. Getting your security deposit back is important for all renters as it is usually at least a couple hundred dollars. Make sure you take all the steps necessary to get your complete security deposit back.

Securing your Security Deposit

Making sure the unit is completely clean and making sure your kitchen is organized is the first step to getting back your deposit when you move out. If you have lived there for a while then the landlord may wish to have the carpets steam cleaned which he may ask you to pay for. Other than that, it is mostly up to you to scrub the place to perfection.

So what does this entail? After you have removed most of your furniture it's time to put on the rubber gloves and invest in a number of different cleaning products. You will need to scrub off any scuff marks on the walls, the floors, the ceilings or anywhere else. You may wish to use plaster to fill in any holes you have made where you have placed pictures or anywhere where a piece of furniture may have hit the wall.

You will need to clean the toilets, the bath or shower, the tiles, the oven, the microwave, all appliances, the windows, the walls and even the outdoor area. Essentially, you want to get the house cleaner than when you moved in. That way your landlord will be pleased to give you your deposit back. The less work for him, the better for you.

Make sure you return all the keys that your landlord has given you. Most landlords will charge for any missing keys and may even charge you to have the locks changed because of it. This can be a couple hundred dollars that will come out of your security deposit.

Obeying the Rules

Finally, make sure you stick to the lease agreements. If you have a pet in the no pet apartment, if you paint your room blue even though there is a no painting clause, if you smoke in a non smoking building, then you can expect your landlord to keep the deposit as part of the damage and cleaning costs he will incur.

Make sure you save a day or two to give the place a full clean after you have moved your items out. Many tenants will be so excited to be finished with the packing that they will lock up the place and walk away. Leaving the apartment messy will not only put your security deposit in jeopardy but it can also mean a poor reference from your landlord. This can make it harder to find a new place to live once you have moved out.

Use your common sense when getting your security deposit back and try to think about what needs to be done from your landlord's point of view. Ask your landlord if there are any special requirements you need to do to get the security deposit back in full. He will most likely want to rent out the place after you have moved out. Have a read through the lease agreement again to see if there are any rules and regulations involving the security deposit. Many leases will include a clause of damage deposits and what needs to be done.

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