When you move into an apartment rental, you are typically asked to shell out a whole bunch of money. Coming up with your first and last month’s rent is hard enough, but add in a security deposit (which usually equals a full month’s rent) and you are looking at quite an investment. Knowing that you are going to get this money back at the end of your lease can add some security to the transaction, so make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your cash.
Read Your Lease
Prior to moving into your apartment rental, read the lease very carefully, particularly the part on what your security deposit covers. Each landlord will have their own guidelines on what is considered “normal wear and tear”, so don’t just assume that the rules are the same as your last place. If it isn’t specified in your lease, take the time to discuss it with your landlord and have him/her amend the lease so that there is no grey area at the end of your lease term.
Take a Walk-Through
Before you start filling your apartment rental up with your things, ask your landlord to take a walk through the space with you. Meticulously check each room for damages and document anything you find. Take pictures as well. Put all of your observations in writing and have both parties sign it. This will protect you at the end of your lease.
If it’s not clearly outlined in your lease agreement, make sure that you ask the landlord before you put holes in the wall or paint your apartment rental. Your landlord may say that it’s fine, but that you will be the one responsible for patching and/or re-painting later down the line. Knowing this can help you to avoid a mistake you might have trouble fixing.
Keep Your Floors Covered
The floors of your apartment rental are often overlooked when it comes to your security deposit. Common spaces within your apartment are sure to have more traffic (which may seem obvious), but that doesn’t mean your landlord isn’t expecting you to take good care of them. Cover carpet and wood floors at entrances or in common areas by using decorative throw rugs and runners. This will help to minimize wearing of carpet fibers and scratches to laminates and hardwoods. Cleaning your floors regularly will also help to keep them looking their best. If your apartment rental comes furnished, cover furniture such as couches and chairs as well.
Be a Responsible Tenant
Inviting forty people into your apartment rental for a wild party is a pretty sure-fire way to incur some damages. Be considerate of the space by keeping social gatherings small and intimate. Let your guests know of any ground rules you may have (like taking their shoes off at the door or not smoking) prior to having them over so that everybody is clear on the expectations.
Clean, Clean, Clean
If you want to make sure you get your apartment rental deposit back, keep the place clean! I don’t just mean the mad dash at the end of your lease to make the place sparkle (although giving your space a thorough cleaning at the end of the lease is also recommended). Rather, keep it clean throughout the duration of your lease. Regular cleaning will help to prevent stains and other damage.
Leave Time for Repairs
Coming to the end of your apartment rental lease isn’t always as simple as just packing up and moving out. Doing this without talking to your landlord could leave you wondering why you haven’t yet gotten your deposit back. Just as you did at the start of your lease, request that your landlord come and do a walk through with you, this time to advise you if anything he/she sees will affect your ability to get your deposit back. Doing this at least a month prior to your lease end will give you ample time to make any necessary repairs without rushing.
It may seem redundant, but once your repairs have been made, request that your landlord come back once more for a final walk through of the apartment rental. Have a checklist ready showing them that the requested repairs were made and have them sign off on it before you part ways.
Searching for an Apartment Rental in the Hattiesburg Area?
Now that you know how to handle your deposit from start to finish, it’s time to find you the perfect apartment rental. At Hattiesburg Apartments, we are eager to make the process fun and exciting. Our enormous database of quality properties is waiting for you to take a look and find your new home! Visit us today!