This is a follow up to our blog on security deposits and what they mean to a landlord. Today, we’re talking to the tenants. Returning a security deposit to a tenant is one of the most critical parts of our job. We do a move in inspection and record the condition of the home before the tenants move in, and then when they move out a year or years later, we do another inspection so we can compare the condition of the property.
Documenting Property Condition
Our goal is to always get hundreds of photos so we can document the condition of the home at both times. If the home isn’t clean and the carpets are dirty or there are holes in the wall or landscaping issues, we will use the security deposit to pay for that damage. Tenants will sometimes complain that they left the home cleaner than they got it. That’s why we have the inspections and documentation.
Returning the Security Deposit
Tenants do often get their full deposit back, and we love doing that. It means our lives are easier. We don’t have to hire anyone to fix any damage or do any cleaning. There is no advantage for us to send people in to work on the home or use the deposit for things that aren’t needed. Our goal is always to give the deposit back
Blind Spots and Lease Requirements
Sometimes, people forget to look at baseboards. Those can get thick with dirt, as can blinds and fans and the area under the refrigerator. Those are some of the things you really have to look for so you don’t have to pay for cleaning. In the lease, we ask that carpets be professionally clean when you vacate, and give us a receipt. Sometimes we cannot tell if it’s been cleaned, so a receipt can tell us you’ve done what you were required to do.
We try to provide you with contact information for our vendors because they know what we look for and we have a relationship with them. They can help you out. We understand that when you live in a home for one year or five years, there will be marks on the wall and holes here and there. We expect wear and tear, but if you take care of things ahead of time, we can give you the whole deposit back.
The move in inspection and move out inspections are critical. Do your own documentation and we can always compare notes. This isn’t a perfect process, and we are more than happy to correct any mistakes that are made on our end.