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How to Secure Your Security Deposit Return: 5 Must-Know Steps

Man and woman scrubbing windows with brush.
Most renters, including you, want to recover their security deposit after leaving. However, did you realize that maintaining the property well is key to securing your deposit?

Property managers and landlords often retain security deposits primarily because of required repairs. It’s wise to reduce the possible repairs required after moving out.

Keep a record of your walk-through checklist

Although the house’s condition before your move isn’t your responsibility, the landlord might blame you for any undocumented pre-existing damage. Hence, before moving in, you should examine every room and note down its condition.

Ensure you complete and keep a copy of the walk-through checklist your landlord provides. If a checklist isn’t given, jot down any damage, no matter how small, and any repairs that might be required. Moreover, photograph all the items you document. This can be beneficial if a dispute comes up later.

Maintain the cleanliness of your rental

Consistent cleanliness in your rental home increases the odds of getting your security deposit returned. As your stay lengthens, it becomes increasingly important to uphold your cleaning routine.

Surface cleaning can handle short-term dirt, but deep cleanings are required for long-term rentals. Deep cleaning involves scrubbing grout, wiping kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher), and basic appliance maintenance.

Remember to clear hair from drains, switch out light bulbs, and dust blinds and ceiling fans. Performing these tasks regularly helps ensure your landlord won’t keep part of your security deposit for cleaning.

Practice caution when decorating

Be mindful when decorating your rental home to help ensure you receive your entire security deposit back. Don’t make many holes in the walls or any permanent changes, as this could lead to costly repairs you’d have to cover.

Use non-marking, removable fasteners instead of nails or screws to hang décor items. These hooks can carry items of diverse weights and sizes and are generally removable without harming the wall.

Use coasters or pads under table legs, couches, and other heavy items to protect the floors during furniture moves. Floor damage is a frequent and costly issue; planning ahead and using suitable supplies can help you avoid scraping floors or tearing carpets during furniture moves.

Minimize damage by pets or children

With kids or pets in your rental, it’s important to take steps to minimize potential damage to painted walls and other surfaces.

To guard walls against scrapes, scratches, and stains, position furniture or other items against them. Rugs can serve to protect floors and offer a soft place for children to play.

Designating specific areas for pets or play can help contain any damage to limited rooms. High-quality cleaning materials like magic erasers can effectively remove scuffs and unwanted scribbles.

Promptly report issues to the landlord

Communicating with your landlord consistently and sincerely is important. Early notification of maintenance issues to your landlord leads to prompt fixes. Carrying out maintenance or minor repairs can prevent major issues later.

You are responsible for any damages found after you move out. Typically, the landlord is responsible for repairs during your lease. By addressing maintenance problems, you increase the likelihood of getting your full security deposit back when you leave.

Planning to move? Allow Real Property Management Uintah to assist you in finding your perfect new home in Duchesne and nearby. Contact us now for tailored assistance, or check out our available rentals to explore your choices.


Originally published: August 19, 2022

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