Last-Minute Tips to Saving Your Security Deposit

Let’s be honest here, you most likely “had a few friends over” more than a time or two this school year. Everybody does. No worries there. However, if you ended up with a hole punched through the drywall, or a broken door or window, you’re not the only one. It’s time to assign the cleaning duties and get your place ready for inspection. It’s almost summertime, and cleaning your place is the last thing on your mind, and most likely the last thing that you want to do, unless of course, you want your security deposit back.

Here are a few tips for you Hoosiers to consider if you want a little extra jingle in your pocket starting the summer:

Tip 1: Assign Cleaning Duties

You and your roomies are likely headed back home for the summer. Make it fair, assign cleaning duties for everyone, and make sure everyone agrees on them before the cleaning starts. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty. The closer your place is to perfect, the better the odds that you get your money back. Vacuum, mop, and dust. Scrub the bathroom, scrub the kitchen, scrub anything and everything.

Tip 2: Don’t Leave Stuff Behind

You’re probably just as lazy as the next person. Somehow, someway, you acquired more throughout the year, and likely won’t have enough room for everything now. Don’t be afraid to throw some stuff out. If you don’t want it, and you don’t need it, get rid of it. There’s plenty of cool sites and apps that can help you sell stuff (like OfferUp for example), otherwise, just get rid of it. If you leave it, the landlord will have to pay to get rid of it. BYE-BYE $$$$$$$!

Tip 3: Fix Anything You Can

If you ended up with a hole in the wall, like we talked about, and you know how to replace the drywall (albeit effectively so it looks good), go for it. Just remember that if you’re not allowed to paint per your lease, don’t go painting over it trying to match the color. If you do, not only did you break your lease, but you’re losing money because the landlord will need to repaint it with the exact paint. Most likely your parents are coming to help you move your stuff back home too, so don’t be afraid to enlist their help to fix anything you can. It will gain you both money.

Tip 4: Do The Walkthrough Together!!!!

This is a big one. You’re in a rush to start your summer off with your friends. You want to get home. I understand, I do. But if you want your money back, be ready to take this step. Schedule it ahead of time. Make sure that all the cleaning and repairs are taken care of before this time. Have a document ready for the landlord to sign saying you left the apartment in good condition. One copy for them, one copy for you. Sign both. Have the landlord sign both. They now know that you know your rights as a renter, and have the proof in the signature from them saying that nothing was left in undesirable or unlivable conditions. Obviously, if you destroyed your place, you’ll probably want to avoid this, and just take your medicine. If not, this step will help ensure you get your deposit back.

Security deposits are a required aspect of doing business as a renter and as a landlord. Keep in mind that most landlords are honest people, just doing their job. If you treat them (and their places!) with respect, they will likely treat you just the same. Be friendly and honest. You’ll likely get the same treatment back (WHOA….IS THAT A LIFE LESSON?!) Good luck with moving out, and HAGS (circa 2003 high school yearbook signing for “Have a great summer!”)

Callie Kollenbroich has been the Operations Coordinator and Content Writer/Editor at Rent College Pads since 2015. When she's not working, you can find her at home, eating peanut butter out of the jar and bingeing an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files. She's not as lame as she sounds.

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