7 Rental Repair Hacks to Get Your Security Deposit Back

Apartment RepairsRenting can be complicated, bringing you some hefty fees even ahead of move-in day, including the dreaded security deposit—but if you’re careful, and take good care of your rental, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to recoup all or most of your deposit upon your moving out.

In case your rental has seen better days, or you’ve simply lived there long enough for normal wear and tear to take place, here are just a few rental repair hacks that will up your chances at a full security deposit refund!

Before you start any repairs, remember to read your leasing agreement carefully ahead of your move-out and communicate with your landlord or superintendent about your plans to vacate the premises—failing to give them enough notice to break your lease could result in your entire security deposit being lost for good.

1. Tidy up

You may be surprised, but general dirtiness in an apartment could be reason enough for your landlord to withhold some of your deposit, so it’s always a good idea to give your apartment a deep clean before you move out.

Leaving your landlord with a clean, ready-to-rent apartment will give management less of a headache to deal with before re-listing your space for a new tenant. And, most landlords will want to re-list as fast as possible, so that they’re not losing money on a vacant space.

2. Patch holes & paint

Painting Your ApartmentOnce you remove the gallery wall from your living room, your job isn’t done! Make sure to patch small (and large) holes that may have been made by your décor or picture frames. Patching small holes is pretty easy, according to Apartment Guide—all you’ll need is spackling paste, a piece of sandpaper and a putty knife.

Squeeze some spackling paste into the holes in the walls and use the putty knife to smooth out the paste.

Usually, the paste will shrink when it dries, which means you may need to do more than one coat. Once the paste is dry and the holes are filled in, use the sandpaper to smooth out the paste so it blends into the wall.

Also, if you were able to paint your walls whatever colors you wanted during your lease, it’s probably time to return them back to their original state. Just be sure to paint them a neutral color that resembles what the wall looked like before you altered it.

3. Magic-erase

Chances are your landlord will paint the place before he or she relists it—but, just in case the paint is in good shape, you should take a magic eraser to your walls wherever you see scuff marks.

  • If you don’t think you have any, check out highly trafficked areas like hallways, and around door knobs.

Getting rid of those scuffs can make a huge impression on your landlord when they come to inspect the place—it’ll seem so fresh and clean!

4. Address the carpet

If you have carpeting in your apartment, the polite thing to do before moving out is to have it professionally shampooed, but you’re not necessarily required to do so.

According to Primer Magazine, normal wear on carpeting is not something that your landlord can withhold your security deposit for. But, things like cigarette holes, large stains, and damage to the carpeting can cause problems.

Tackle any large stains with household cleaners—chances are you’ll be able to get at least most of them out. For anything that won’t seem to budge, you may need to bring in the professional steam cleaners.

5. Replace light bulbs

Replacing Light BulbsIf you’ve been meaning to change that dead light bulb in your hallway for 3 years, now’s the time to do it.

Your landlord probably won’t withhold a couple bucks for the cost of a new bulb, but again, it’s the polite thing to do!

6. Fix broken blinds

If your blinds came with the apartment, you’ll need to return them in top working order. If anything got damaged during your stay at the apartment, it’s a good idea to do your best to fix or replace the blinds—you don’t have to spend a fortune getting custom-fit blinds installed, but it’ll be cheaper than having some of your security deposit withheld for not replacing them.

7. Check the hardwood

Hardwood is super easy to scratch, so you probably have done a little damage while living in this apartment. Ask your local hardware store for advice on this one since it can get a little complicated, but usually a good hardwood pen can help make scratches blend into the wood.

Normal wear and tear is to be expected when apartment living, but unreasonable damage will need to be fixed before you vacate the premises. Look at your lease and make sure you know your rights, so do a little research if you need to and make sure you understand what’s expected of you when you move out.

When you’re ready to make the move to your new place, Dowell’s Moving & Storage is here to help. Call us today at 250-361-9866 for more information on our local moving services and receive a free quote!