How to Minimize Damages That Can Eat Into Your Security Deposit

How to Minimize Damages That Can Eat Into Your Security Deposit

The cost of fixing minor damages can eat into your security deposit and cost you cash when you move out of your apartment or leased home. Renters should focus on fixing minor damages to maximize the money they get back.

Tips to Get Security Deposit Back

Patch Nail Holes

If you have holes left by nails, tacks and screws in your walls, get to work and fill them in with a matching putty. Next, let the putty dry and then sand it down to smooth out the surface. If you have any noticeable patches left after filling in smaller holes, use a paintable latex caulk or silicone-based sealant for larger areas.

Re-Paint Accent Wall

Did you add an accent wall? If so, then it’s worth taking the time to paint the wall back to its original color.

Remove Carpet Stains

If you have kids or pets, you probably know a thing or two about removing carpet stains. All you need is a little dish soap mixed in water and an old toothbrush. Scrub the area where the stain was, then rinse with cold or lukewarm water. Use a towel to blot up any excess moisture and air dry.

If you have stubborn stains that won’t come out, try LA’s Totally Awesome. Just spray the product on the soiled area and let it sit for 15 minutes. Blot with a clean towel, then rinse with cold water and allow to air dry before proceeding.

If you’re still unable to remove the carpet stain, it’s time to hire a professional carpet cleaning company.

Check out more carpet cleaning tips here.

Replace Light Bulbs

Replace any light bulbs that are burned out and in reach. Contact your maintenance department to replace the ones you can’t reach. 

Did you remove your original bulbs so they could be replaced with more expensive LED lights? Don’t forget, take those original-bulbs back up.

Replace Lost Keys

Most apartment complexes provide two door keys and two mailbox keys. If you lose a set, it will be cheaper to have a copy made at Lowe’s or Home Depot for a few bucks versus $25 per key from your apartment complex.

Deep Clean

One sure way to put a dent in your security deposit is by leaving without properly cleaning. Make sure to deep clean your rental before you move out, and make an effort not just for the obvious places like bathrooms or kitchens but also other areas of the home windows, walls, ceiling fans, and blinds.

Don’t forget about the appliances. Make sure they are left in a spotless condition as well. I love using The Pink Stuff (The Miracle Cleaning Paste). It really does live up to the hype of all those TikTok videos.

Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to clean your house before moving, and even if you do it’s not always enough. You may want to pay someone to do a deep clean. Yes it will cost you money, but it will be cheaper than having your landlord or property manager to hire someone. My go-to for cleaning service is Thumbtack. They have plenty of professionals who can help out with a thorough cleaning for an affordable price. You could book someone as soon as the next day so that they’re available when YOU need them most. Just be sure you check their reviews—you want somebody reliable.

Take Pictures

Landlords should never take too much out of your security deposit. To ensure that you are not taken advantage of, always document the current state in pictures so they cannot deny anything later on and get away with taking more than the damage is worth.

Having these photos will work better than just relying on our word against theirs, because this could end up in small claims court if your landlord refuses to refund your security deposit.

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