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Tenant Resources

How do I keep my Security Deposit?

One of the biggest questions we get when working with Tenants is “how can I get my Security Deposit back when I move out”? We’d like to help give you some tips on what we look at before you move-in and when you move-out of your home. The best experience we have is when we get to tell a past tenant “great job” which also means we let owners know their property was well taken care of.

We will take anywhere on average, 200-400 pictures of properties before move-in and will then do the same upon move-out. This is our way to compare the condition of the property before/after each tenant occupies that property. We will identify any damages or other tenant related events that may have occurred during the term of the lease. For instance, if set of blinds is in good working order when move-in occurs and then the handle to open and close them is missing or broken laying in a closet at move-out…that’s going to be charged to the tenant to fix or replace.

The aim here is to be fair to both the tenant and owner. It’s someone’s investment we are charged with maintaining, so the golden rule would be treat the house as if it were your own. Be sure and report any maintenance issue that could get worse over time – that way we can try to help get it repaired for you and the owner of the property.

Also, be aware that professional carpet cleaning is a part of your lease. We will schedule and complete this work unless otherwise agreed, and deduct from the deposit. We do our best to maintain relationships with vendors that do a good job at a fair price. Personally renting a machine at a local store and performing the work yourself would not qualify as professional carpet cleaning.

Some of the most helpful tips and common things we see in our business are:

  1. Make sure to thoroughly walk the house when you move-in and document the conditions where provided on your “Lease and Inventory Condition Form”. Turn the form in to our office timely so we may keep it in your file. It’s not a request for repairs, but a reconciliation of the property as you move-in vs. when you decide to move-out.
  2. Keep the yard watered and alive. This includes, grass, shrubs, trees, and any other landscaping.
  3. Clean the house and yard thoroughly upon move-out. This includes appliances, bathrooms, and all other areas. Do not leave debris behind.
  4. Change air filters regularly for HVAC units! Number one cause of maintenance and damage to properties and fixtures. This also helps keep your unit running efficiently, and reduces your utility bills.
  5. Do not build on/alter any part of the house or property you lease. This can create code problems and expenses to you for returning property to original condition.
  6. Wrap any exposed pipes to faucets and/or irrigation systems in the event of freezing temperatures.
  7. “I didn’t cause that hole in the wall, a guest caused it”. Sorry, the leaseholder is responsible for the condition of the house, accident or not.

We want to give back as much of your Security Deposit as possible! This list is meant to help you in that process, not cause anxiety. Having to schedule repairs or remedy damage is costly to the owner, our staff’s time, and most importantly – you. It’s much more enjoyable to return a deposit – you simply deserve it if you take care of the property!

If you should ever disagree with a Security Deposit Return, please feel free to report that to us. Please understand that it must be in writing and may not be received via phone call. We will provide any/all documentation to arrive at a decision to deduct expenses and will do our best to work with you if there is a good cause.

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