Ensure your Rental Security Deposit is Refunded

When you move out of a rental property after having it properly cleaned, repaired and cleared out you’re much more likely to get your security deposit refunded.

Follow these key steps when vacating:

Clean your Property

It’s expected you’ll hand back the property in the same clean condition as when you moved in. You may have been handed the property following a “Professional Clean” meaning some external company cleaned it and you were shown a receipt. You must then return it to the same standard. Though it costs upfront, professional deep cleaning can be worthwhile to pass inspection. You should contract a cleaner and get a receipt.

It may be that the property was cleaned to a good “Domestic Clean” level in which case you can do it yourself - systematically clean each room, referring to your original inventory report for the baseline standard. Start by removing all belongings so cleaning is easier, then vacuum floors, wipe down walls and clean windows, doors, cabinets, appliances, etc. Leave no surface untouched! Focus extra attention on kitchens and bathrooms as hotspots for damage.

Check your original inventory or check-in documentation and return the property to the same standard.

Repair Minor Damage

Accidents happen, but you must personally fix small holes, nicks, stains or damage you directly caused. Replace burnt-out lightbulbs, missing smoke detector batteries or parts from fixtures. Hardware stores have cheap supplies for simple repairs.

Properly fill holes, touch up paint so walls look new, and hire carpet cleaners for stains and tears. Leaving damage unaddressed almost guarantees losing some deposit.

Clear out Completely

Ensure you remove every possession and piece of furniture from inside the unit and outside the premises once cleaning is done. Any personal belongings or rubbish left behind means additional disposal work for your landlord – which they may charge you for.

Also thoroughly clean up the garden, sheds, storage areas and garbage bins outside. Properly discard any garden waste or hazardous materials. Confirm all keys are returned in and any entrance fobs or garage remotes accounted for when you hand over.

Attend the Final Walkthrough

Be present when your landlord does their last inspection using an end-of-tenancy app so you can immediately discuss or contest unfair charges. Politely point to preexisting damage documentation and photos from move-in.

Having documentation and photos from when you moved in is enormously helpful if disputes arise over unfair charges. You may be asked to sign something from your landlord agreeing to withhold certain deposit funds - don't sign anything you aren't comfortable with or that fails to note your objections.

Putting in cleaning products for a thorough clean, actively fixing minor issues and fully emptying the unit sets you up for success. Follow these tips and you’ll have a smooth move-out process - plus get back every penny of your hard-earned deposit.

Dan, 26 January 2024
Ensure your Rental Security Deposit is Refunded

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