How to get your security deposit back after moving out

Moving out is usually stressful in itself. Not getting a security deposit back can add even more stress on top of that. Especially if that’s the money you were counting on. Given how expensive moving can be, every penny is valuable. That said, even if you chose one of the most affordable moving companies NJ has to offer, moving can still run you dry. Sometimes landlords are just set on keeping your money and they’ll do it no matter how hard you try to make the place look spotless. However, if your landlord possesses even a sliver of humanity they will return back the money you deserve. It’s your job to try and get the place to the state it was before you moved in. Here are the best ways to get your security deposit back after moving out.

Act in advance

The best bet for ensuring you get back your security deposit is to act in advance. That means that you should take pictures and document everything the momentum you move in. That will help you get back everything to the way it was before you moved in. Not only that but you will have proof should anything go wrong.

a woman taking a photo of already existing damages in her new apartment.
Documenting everything the moment you move in will help you get your deposit back!

Start documenting the moment you move in

One of the crucial pieces of advice for getting back a security deposit is to document even before you start unpacking! Take pictures of all the rooms from multiple angles. On top of that, make sure to take close-up pictures of all already existing damages. Is the paint chipped? Take a picture. Is the lamp busted? Take a picture. You can even make videos. Just make sure that pictures and videos have dates on them. That will be very helpful if you have to prove the damages were there even before you moved in.

Have a thorough conversation with your landlord before you move in

One of the best ways to avoid losing your security deposit is to not inflict any damages or not make any changes that are not permitted. Unfortunately, damages are sometimes unavoidable. However, you can avoid making changes that are not allowed. Learning what is and what is not allowed beforehand is the best way to stay within the boundaries even when making modifications to the apartment. For example, some landlords allow you to paint walls, and some don’t. By having a thorough conversation with your landlord you can learn what is and is not permitted.

Move in with care

Moving day is always hectic. Because of that, people moving are often extremely tired once they finally reach their new home. That sometimes results in careless moving. One such carelessness is carrying furniture without care and attention. That can result in immediate damages. To avoid any such damages it’s best to either be careful no matter how tired you are or hire expert local or long distance movers NJ residents love and recommend. If you avoid making any damages on your moving day there’s a greater chance you’ll actually get your deposit back.

Get your security deposit back by taking the necessary steps when moving out

To ensure you get your security deposit back there are a few things you should do before you move out. Most of these things you can do on your own. At this point, it’s important to note that it’s best to be polite at all times no matter how frustrating a particular situation is. You’ll have a much greater chance of getting your deposit back if you’re not trying to pick a fight with a landlord. If possible, try being friendly even during your lease. However, there’s more you can do aside from being polite and friendly.

Repair everything you damaged

Getting everything to the way it was before you moved in also includes repeating all damages that occurred while you lived there. Some you might be able to repair on your own. However, if you’re unsure of your skills it’s best to ask someone for help. Hiring a trained professional is always the best option. Still, as long as everything works just as well as it did when you moved in you’ll be fine.

A man painting a fence since he knows that one of the best ways to get your security deposit backis to repair everything you damaged.
Repairing everything you damaged will increase the likelihood of you getting your security deposit back!

Return everything to its original state

Repairing the damages isn’t the only thing you should do when moving out. You should also undo all the changes you made to the apartment. Bust out the pictures and videos you took when moving in and start comparing what was when you moved in and what is now. That is, of course, if your landlord demands so. Some landlords are fine with people repainting and remodeling how they like as long as the place looks nice once they leave. If your landlord is okay with the modifications staying feel free to skip this step. This way, your furniture movers will move it with ease.

Cleaning is one of the best ways to get your security deposit back

Clean, clean, and then clean some more. The place is never too clean when moving out. No matter how swarmed you are with moving tasks you should make sure that the place is spotless with capital S. Many landlords like to keep the money under the guise of a place needing more cleaning. To avoid that, you can even hire professional cleaners to clean the place for you. Still, whether you decide to clean yourself or hire professionals, it’s all the same so long as the place is in mint condition when you leave. If you decide to do it on your own you can even make a move-out cleaning checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything.

A woman cleaning.
Landlords often keep the security deposit if the apartment is not clean enough!

Get your security deposit back easily by playing smart

Moving out can be stressful. Luckily, there is reliable moving assistance all around New Jersey such as movers Millburn NJ prides itself in, and many other local, or even long-distance New Jersey movers. Unfortunately, great movers can’t get your security deposit back for you. That is something you have to do on your own. By being mindful and always one step ahead you can up the likelihood of getting the deposit back. Play smart, be friendly, and document. There’s nothing better you can do when hoping to receive your security deposit back when moving out.

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