(November 27, 2020)--All states around the country allow a landlord to collect a security deposit from you before you move into your new home. The purpose of this deposit is to cover any damage you cause during your stay. Therefore, if the landlord finds anything they are not happy with when your lease ends, they can take money from the security deposit to pay for repairs.
Of course, everybody wants their security deposit back. It is often around another month’s worth of rent but other landlords can charge a lot more than this. So, you want to ensure that you get your security deposit back at the end of your lease. Here are some ways you can make sure that this happens.
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Treat the Property Like Your Own
First of all, from the moment you move in, ensure that you treat the property as if you owned it. We all know that accidents can happen. But they are more likely to happen when you are being careless. Always take care around furniture in your apartment and do your best to avoid causing damage. Simply acting like taking your shoes off at the door can avoid getting dirt and stains on the carpet. If there is fragile décor around the apartment, move it somewhere that it is less likely to be broken. If you treat the home like it was your own, you can make sure that you get your security deposit back.
Tell the Landlord of Any Damage
If you do move in and discover that there is damage to the property, make sure that you tell them. Alert them to this in writing and take photos as evidence. The last thing you want to happen is for you to get blamed for the damage when you move out when it was there before. So, in the first days when you move in, go around the apartment and look for any damage. This can be anything from marks on the wall to faulty cupboard doors. Test everything so that you know you are starting with a clean slate. If there is an inventory left by your landlord, be sure to check that everything is there too.
Invest in Renter’s Insurance
One of the best investments you can make when you are renting in New Jersey is choosing renter’s insurance. This is going to protect you in the event that anything goes wrong. This could be extreme weather conditions or a fire starting in your home. These events can cause damage to the interior of the property and your landlord may decide to take money from your security deposit. But the good thing about NJ Lemonade insurance is that it is going to compensate you. What’s more, you can also protect your own personal belongings if something happens. Renter’s insurance gives you peace of mind and increases the chances of getting your security deposit back.
Only Make Temporary Upgrades
When you move into a new home, you want to upgrade and make it seem like your own. But the best thing you can do is only choose improvements that are not going to damage the structure of the property. For instance, instead of installing new lights, look for temporary measures that do not require any drilling or permanent fixtures. For instance, you could use LED strip lights.
Even if you make great upgrades to the apartment, your landlord can still charge you if you leave anything they class as damage. We know that you want to make your rental feel homely, but if you really want your money back, try to look for a temporary solution.
Ask Permission for Redecoration
Would you love to paint the walls in your apartment or hang up frames on the wall? Be aware that making adjustments and alterations like this that alter the property could be classed as damage by your landlord. If you really want to make these types of changes, it is best to ask your landlord’s permission first. Most of them are going to be reasonable and a lot of landlords will let you paint the walls as long as they complement the property. In addition, some will let you put up fixtures if you repair the space before you move out. But do be aware that landlords all set their own rules. While some will be laidback, others can be strict about what you can do. Therefore, asking before acting is going to make sure you do not do anything that jeopardizes your security deposit.