When you moved into your rental home, you swore you’d keep it sparkly clean and get every cent of your security deposit back. Now? You’re not so sure. Try not to worry — with a little bit of hard work and some elbow grease, you should be able to get your money back when you move.

Tip #1: Pull out your lease.

Your lease will specify what’s expected of you upon move out. Knowing what you need to do to get your deposit back is the first step. Is the lease unclear, and you’re still not sure what you need to do? See tip #2.

Tip #2: Chat with your landlord.

If you get along with your landlord, reach out to them to learn more about their expectations. Many landlords work with cleaning companies they trust and may recommend that you go with one of these companies to guarantee that you’ll get your security deposit back. If there’s apparent damage to your apartment (a hole in the wall, carpet stains), don’t try to hide it from your landlord. Being upfront and honest is your best chance at getting a minimal amount deducted from your security deposit for damage repair.

Tip #3: Get to work (or hire someone else to get the job done).

Once you know what you need to do to get your security deposit back, it’s time to get to work. Move-out cleaning can be daunting. Inviting friends over (and thanking them profusely) may help you get the job done, or you (or your landlord) may prefer to work with a cleaning company.

Tip #4: Take pictures of your clean space, or ask for a move-out inspection.

After you’ve cleaned your home up to your landlord’s standards, either take pictures then email or text them to your landlord. Or ask for the landlord to stop by for an inspection in your presence. This gives your landlord a chance to explain whether you’ll be getting your full deposit back and allows you to correct any issues keeping you from your ash.

Tip #5: Advocate for yourself.

Even the best of landlords can get bogged down by an endless list of job-related tasks, and it makes sense that returning security deposit money might not be a top priority. If a month or so has gone by after you’ve moved out, and you haven’t heard anything about getting your deposit back, reach out to your landlord or rental management company to find out what’s going on and decide how to move forward.

Stressing About Your Move? We Can Help.

You have enough to worry about when you’re moving to a new home, from packing to getting your utilities squared away. When you hire a professional moving company, you’re able to take some planning and heavy lifting off of your to-do list. Reach out to us to learn how we can take some of the stress out of your moving experience with professional moving services.