At some point or another, your time at an apartment will end and the steps you take over the course of your stay will determine whether you get your security deposit back or not. If you abide by a few simple rules, then you should have little trouble in getting your security deposit back.

Here are five rules for ensuring a returned security deposit:

  1. Clean up after pets. Always make sure to clean up after your pets. Before moving in, check the lease to see if you’re even allowed to keep a pet in the apartment. If it’s against the rules, that might be all that’s required to forfeit your deposit. Remember to take your pet outside regularly to avoid accidents in the home. Repeated accidents can leave stains and smells that are hard to eliminate.
  2. Protect your apartment from damage. Remember, you’re responsible for damages that occur to your apartment. Avoid causing damage to the apartment by being careful about the artwork, mirrors and other decorative pieces you hang on the wall as well as activities inside the home that can cause damage.
  3. Thoroughly clean before moving out. After you have moved all of your belongings out of your apartment, take some time to go back through and give it a thorough cleaning.
  4. Take before and after pictures. Once you have received the keys to the apartment, take pictures of every room. You should also repeat this after you have moved everything out in order to compare the difference.
  5. Follow the rules. Before you move in, ask your apartment management team about any rules that are in place regarding proper upkeep. This could be general things like changing the filters or questions about grilling on your patio.

Following this advice will give you the best chance of getting your full security deposit back. Make sure you take it to heart and really attempt to abide by the rules if you are looking to achieve this goal. Do you have advice or tips on how to retain your deposit? Let us know about them in the comment section below.