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Maximizing Your Rental Deposit Refund

Aug 07, 2015 01:41PM ● Published by Savannah Ludwig

Moving out of a rental property can be stressful in itself, but nothing’s more frustrating than forfeiting [all or part of] your rental deposit, especially if could have been prevented.

An ethical landlord would much rather return 100% of a tenant’s deposit, because that means when you [the tenant] vacated the property, you left it in the same or better condition than when you moved in. This allows the landlord to rent the property to the next tenant sooner and without having to spend money on repairs or maintenance. 

Here are a few tips to help maximize your chances of receiving a full deposit refund.

> Review your lease [rental] agreement to confirm what is expected of you upon moving out.

> Review your move-in inspection list to remind yourself of the properties original condition.  

> Contact the landlord to clarify and questions or move-out expectations.

The following questions are just a few of the items that should be considered while reviewing the lease agreement and speaking with the landlord.

·         Do you need to have the steam clean the carpets or is vacuuming ok?

·         Do you need to change the A/C air filter?

·         Do you need to wet mop the floors or is broom swept ok?

·         Are you required to do lawn maintenance (if applicable)?

·         What should you do about the holes in the wall after removing pictures and decorations?

·         When should you transfer/disconnect the utilities (if applicable)?

One sure-fire way to forfeit a deposit is to leave the premises dirty and smelling. 

Here are a few general tips to remember.  

·         Open windows and use fans while cleaning to circulate any lingering odors.

·         Turn the kitchen faucet and garbage disposal on. Then drop a few lemon peels & ice cubes down the drain (just a few at a time of each, don’t overload the disposal). This will get rid of most sink odors and really freshen up the kitchen.  

·         Clean the refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave, bathrooms, etc… so that it mirrors what it looked like when you moved in.

·         Use an erase pad to buff out marks on the walls and floors.

And finally, make it a point to be present for the final inspection and provide the landlord with a forwarding address. Louisiana law states that a landlord must refund the appropriate deposit due within 30 days of vacating the property.

If you’ve followed the rules during the lease and vacate the property in good condition (as per your lease), there’s a really good chance you’ll get your deposit returned. 

 


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