5 Tips to Protect Your Security Deposit
At Forest Ridge Apartments, we want our tenants to have the best experience living in our community-based apartment complex. This includes having our tenants be knowledgeable and aware of their rights and what they should consider before moving in. Take note of the list of things below regarding protecting your security deposit and ensuring that you have it returned to you at the proper time.
1. The Walk-through – To ensure the safety of your apartment security deposit, make sure to conduct a walk-through with your landlord. Pay close attention to any pre-existing surface damages to the apartment including;
a. holes or stains in the walls
b. nicks on doors
c. stains or tears on the floor
d. marks on the doors and walls
List all damages on the lease and ask the landlord to initial. This will assure that the damages were documented and present before you moved in.
2. Document and Photograph – Take lots of pictures (or a video) of the apartment before you move in. Be sure to including pictures of the appliances. If you can, plan to use a digital or recording camera (that records the date and time of the recording).
3. Follow the Terms of Your Lease – Your entire security deposit may be void if you violate the terms and conditions of your lease. Instances which could terminate your security deposit return may include:
a. breaking the lease early
b. failure to notify the landlord when you are moving out
c. getting pets without the landlord’s permission
d. moving in other people into the apartment without your landlord’s permission, or subletting the apartment to other people
4. Report Any Damages Immediately – Any damages to the apartment should be reported immediately so the landlord will be able to repair the damage as soon as possible. If further damage occurs to the apartment or the damage becomes worse (such as a crack in the wall or a hole), because you failed to notify the landlord right away, you could be held financially responsible for part or all of the repairs.
5. Know Your Rights – There are some things you should be aware of as your rights as a tenant. The landlord cannot use the deposit to repair normal wear and tear on the apartment, and the landlord must return a deposit within a specific period of time (usually 30 days in most states) after you move out. If you feel that your landlord has unjustly kept all or a portion of your rent, try to talk with your landlord first – if that fails you can sue your landlord in small claims court for the return of your deposit.
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