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Tips for Getting Your Full Security Deposit Back

A man and woman tidying a room filled with boxes, organizing, and cleaning the space together.It might feel difficult to get your security deposit back, but don’t worry, it’s entirely manageable with the right steps. Whether you’re leaving an apartment or a rental house, making sure it’s clean is essential for a full deposit return.

Typically, landlords want a spotless rental for returning the full deposit, which can be challenging. In this piece, we’ll give you crucial cleaning tips and strategies to leave your rental looking fantastic, impress your landlord, and increase your likelihood of a hassle-free deposit return.

Tip #1: Read Your Lease

Your lease might not be the obvious source for cleaning tips. Though, as a renter, the lease documents and addenda likely detail your landlord’s expectations. You can often find answers to questions such as if carpets need professional cleaning, which areas will be inspected, and more.

Tip #2: Get (and Use) A Move-Out Checklist

Trustworthy landlords often provide a move-out checklist to tenants around the time they give notice of leaving. Yet, if your landlord did not offer one, numerous detailed cleaning checklists can be found online. Relying on a checklist as you clean is key to making sure you don’t neglect anything inside or outside. Skipping even tiny cleaning tasks can lead to significant deductions from your deposit, making it worth the effort.

Tip #3: Think Like a Landlord

For a full refund of your security deposit, try to see things from your landlord’s point of view. Recall how the property looked when you moved in and strive to leave it just as clean. If unsure, consult your landlord to clarify their standards for “clean” and their expectations. Also, consider that the next tenant will appreciate a clean house, so leave it as you would like to find it.

Tip #4: Don’t Leave Stuff Behind

Tenants commonly leave their unwanted belongings in rental properties. But it’s hardly any extra effort to bring your unwanted belongings to the curb or a thrift shop. Moreover, if you abandon your belongings, the landlord will likely bill you for their disposal. Thus, you’ll get a smaller portion of your security deposit back.

Tip #5: Go the Extra Mile

Amid the hustle of moving out, it can be tempting to skimp on cleaning and cut corners. Even if this approach works occasionally, it generally leads to deductions from your security deposit for cleaning and repairs. When you can, set aside extra time to go over some specifics. For example, patch nail holes with drywall putty and check that interior windows are clean, and blinds and ceiling fans are dusted.

By using these move-out cleaning tips, you’ll give your landlord little reason to complain and no excuse to deduct from your security deposit for cleanliness.

Searching for a new rental in Chicago or the surrounding vicinity? Real Property Management Chicago Group has just the right home for you. Browse our listings or give us a call at 312-265-0660.

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