Damage to the Property
It is generally assumed that with proper care of a rented space, and complete compliance with the renter agreement that the renter will receive their entire security deposit check back when they leave the property. This is not always the case. The amount can vary depending on a number of factors regardless of the lack of damage done to the rented property.
Major damage to the apartment rented can warrant the leasing agent to withhold the security deposit. Breaking utilities, putting holes in the walls or staining carpet can be examples of major damage that could effect the amount returned. The owner must make estimates of cost on each damaged item in order to determine what portion, if any of the security deposit is returned to the renter. The leasing agent cannot withhold the checks entirely, without first proving that the cost of the damage is equal or higher than the security deposit.
Cleanliness is Important!
Upon leaving, the tenant is responsible for cleaning all rooms and common areas of the apartment. Failure to comply can cause a decrease in the portion of the security deposit returned to the renter. Unclean blinds, for example, can cost up to ten dollars per blind. Items such as this can add up quickly if left unkept. Anything that is deemed in need of cleaning upon departure of the tenant can cost.
In some cases, the renter must perform more detailed cleaning before vacating. Painting, washing carpet, or cleaning the refrigerator could be included. These services are usually accounted for in the agreement and the cost of not complying is known. The departing renter may have to complete these tasks in order for the new tenant to move in right away. Failure to do so may delay the new renter from moving in, which could cause the owner to lose revenue. In this case, additional fees may apply.
Complying With Your Contract (Lease)
Carefully reading and understanding your contract is crucial to maintaining the full security deposit refund. It is vital to understand the contract while dwelling on the property as well as upon departure. There may be conditions in the contract that forbid pet ownership, smoking and/or painting. Violations of these conditions can be regarded as damaging property, and can definitely take away from the returned security deposit.
Guidelines for vacating the property are often disclosed in the contract, which is why it is important to review the contract again before leaving. Failure to do so may cause the renter to neglect a condition, causing additional fees.