One of the most important things to get back out of your apartment is your security deposit. You could probably use that money for either your next apartment or towards the purchase of a home, as such, it is important to understand what is generally considered normal wear and tear in the rental world. Landlords are permitted to deduct from security deposits for damage or excessive filth, but not for ordinary wear and tear. Creekbend Property Management has provided a simple to follow steps and information to help you get back your security deposit!
What is normal wear and tear?
Basically anything that is an act of everyday living and constant use, deterioration that results from the intended use of the home. Such as:
- Soiled carpets due to dirt tracked in on shoes, constant use, and also show some discoloration and matted from wear.
- Fading paint or a few small holes on the walls from hanging pictures.
- Blinds that have faded with use are also part of normal wear and tear that occurs with time.
- Blind pulls or strings may also be worn or frayed due to constant use
What is excessive damage?
Actual damage from negligence, carelessness, accident or abuse of the home, equipment or personal property by the tenant or by a member of the tenant’s household or by a guest of the tenant. Such as:
- Filth in refrigerator dirty greasy stove tops and ovens,
- Broken compartments in the refrigerator or damaged stove burners.
- Mold and mildew covering bathroom tubs or walls that require professional cleaning
- Holes punched into walls, ripped or damaged screens
- Torn carpets, or stains, burns or blotches from bleach all constitute permanent damage.
- Stains and odors on the floor or carpet due to pets
- Broken fixtures, doors, windows, or screens that have cracks or rips due to intentional or careless use.
- Broken or damaged blinds.
- Flea infestation that requires professional treatment and removal
- Damage to walls or ceilings due to faulty repairs to pipes that tenant installed rather than having a licensed professional do the work.
What do you need to do to get that deposit back?
- Patch holes in the walls left from posters, pictures, shelves, etc.
- Repaint walls with landlord approved colors
- Repair any loose hinges, knobs, hanging cabinets, and towel bars.
- Deep clean the fridge, oven, stove top, microwave, and dishwasher.
- Scrub away mold in bathtubs, shower stalls, sinks, and toilets.
- Clean out drawers and cabinets, vacuum and wipe clean.
- Sweep, vacuum and mop all floors once all the furniture is out of the way. Clean off window sills, vacuum blinds, vacuum and clean baseboards.
- Wipe down walls, remove finger prints from light switches and doors.
- Replace broken light bulbs and put in clean HVAC filters
- Flea bomb if there were indoor/outdoor pets.
- If you are responsible for lawn care; mow the grass, rake up and dispose of debris, sweep walkways and porches/decks and clean out trash bins.
Creekbend Property Management recommends documenting with photos the condition of your rental before moving in and after moving out. Always check your city, county, and state laws for security deposit details since they do vary from state to state. Once you’re completely moved out, request a walk through with the landlord, leave a forwarding address, and return your keys. Depending on what state you live in, it may take 15-30 days to get your deposit back.
Creekbend Property Management is located in Charleston, SC specializing in rental properties in downtown Charleston, James Island, Isle of Palm, Johns Island, Kiawah, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, and West Ashley. We are licensed and insured, providing leasing services, management services, maintenance, and most importantly; giving our property investors peace of mind!