8 Reasons Why You Could Lose Your Security Deposit
Generally, a security deposit is about one or two times of your monthly rent.
Therefore, it is important for you to get a refund when moving out of the apartment.
Although states like California have distinctive laws that require the house owners to refund their tenants, others do not have a clear law on it.
Whatever the case may be, the homeowners have two choices.
They can either itemize deductions during your stay in the apartment or return the total deposit.
However, some situations may play to the advantages of the landlords; hence, you may lose the deposit.
In this regard, these are the 8 reasons that could make you lose your security deposit:
You failed to read the lease term
One of the most consequential mistakes you can make is to sign a lease without reading what is inside it.
Many times, there may be pressure on you to quickly finalize the deal when you are competing with other renters.
However, this may make you agree to a bad term. So, take your time to read the lease terms before signing.
You did not understand the terms
In your lease, there are various phrases that may not be entirely clear to you.
These phrases include “reasonable effort” and “ordinary wear and tear.”
Get clarity on what each unclear term means before signing the term or moving into the unit.
Do not shy away from opening communication with the house owner.
You failed to keep a record of existing damages
When you rent a home, you should not move in without taking note and documenting the existing damages.
Although the process can be quite difficult, you can simplify it by videoing everything.
Also, have a written checklist of the damages. The evidence can be your saving grace when it is time to get back your security deposit.
You repaired the unit without approval
Truthfully, you may not like everything about the unit.
However, you should only make repairs after getting approval from the landlords.
When it comes to unauthorized repairs, one of the most important tips for landlords is the deduction of cost for repairs from your deposit.
For instance, if you change the colours of the paint of your unit, the landlord may decide to deduct from your deposit to restore the original colours.
To avoid this, get written approval from the house owners before making any repairs.
You used the utilities excessively
If the homeowners settle the utilities, you can easily overuse them.
If there is anything about “reasonable use” in your terms, clarify what the landlord means by the term.
With clarity, you can understand what to do so that you do not overuse the utilities.
You left personal belongings behind
After leaving a unit, it is not the job of the landlord to help you dispose of your personal belongings.
So, if you leave any personal stuff behind, the landlord may deduct the disposal charges from your security deposit.
You failed to give enough notice
Whether as a result of getting a new job elsewhere or dealing with various issues with your neighbours, you might decide to leave your unit within a short notice.
When it comes to noticing, your reason for leaving does not matter.
Therefore, you must give your house owner a written notice – usually about 30 or 60 days before you move.
If you do not give enough notice, you may lose deposit to reimburse the rent you would have paid.
You did not clean the unit
It is not necessary for you to keep your unit in pristine condition as you pack out.
However, if the landlord needs to pay for extra cleaning, your deposit may have to be deducted.
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