How to protect your right to the security deposit

A moving process is stressful and very exhausting. The last thing on your mind is a moving-out day. But, since you will have to give a security deposit to your landlord, it is actually good to think of that too, and to prepare mentally for the moving-out day, just in case. Therefore, before you start unpacking your belongings and hanging pictures on the wall, you should think of a few things in order to protect your right to the security deposit.

How to protect your right to the security deposit?

First of all, if you have decided to move, and your new home is at Kahului Island, hire professional Kahului movers to assist you with your move. Also, you should check how much money will you need to rent a house or apartment. Do not forget to save some extra money, because you will have to give a security deposit to your landlord.

Now, let’s go through the things you should do in order to protect your right to the security deposit:

  • Inspect your new home
  • Make a move-in checklist
  • Take pictures before you unpack
A professional mover will make their clients happy and satisfied.
Hire a professional moving company to assist you with your move!

Inspect your new home

You should inspect your new place before you move in, or even better before you even sign the lease. Even if you think that your landlord is a good and nice person and they wouldn’t lie about the apartment condition, it is safer if you do the inspection yourself. Inspect your new apartment thoroughly before your Lahaina movers start unpacking your belongings. It’s easier to spot the problems while the apartment is empty.

So, while you are inspecting the apartment, pay attention to these things:

  • Check the apartment for any damage
  • Dirt and Mildew
  • Sink drainage and water pressure in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Check if all appliances in the apartment working properly
  • Inspect walls, floors, and the condition of the pad under the carpet

Make a Move-in Checklist

Another way to protect your right to the security deposit is if you make a move-in checklist. Before you move in, inspect the place and write everything down. This will help you prove that some of the problems already existed before you even moved in.

In some states, landlords are obligated to make the written document or list about damages and condition of the apartment before new tents move in. Also, some landlords will provide a checklist to the new tenants. in case they don’t, you should ask for one or make one yourself.

The best solution is to make a checklist, of the apartment condition and existing problems, with the landlord. In case it’s not possible, ask a friend, roommate or family member to inspect the apartment with you. It’s good to have one or more witnesses to the condition of the apartment at the move-in time.

How to protect your right to the security deposit? Make a checklist on a moving-in day!
Inspect the apartment and make a checklist. Do that with your landlord or a friend/roommate.

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Checklist specifics

In order to protect your right to the security deposit, you should describe every detail of the damage you have found on a move-in day. The more specific you are the clearer will be that you are not responsible for the damage. For example, you should write “cigarette burn on the carpet, next to the kitchen door” instead of just “damage on the carpet”.

You and your landlord should both go through the checklist and after you are done, both should sign. After you are done, make a copy of the checklist so you and your landlord can keep one.

When the day for the move-out comes, you will have to go through another inspection of the unit you have lived in. If some of the appliances are broken, but they used to work on your move-in day, a landlord will hold you responsible for that. But you will be protected from billing for the items that were not functional at your move-in day.

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Take pictures before you unpack

Except for the checklists, you should also take pictures on your move-in day. Taking pictures and making a video is maybe even better in order to protect your right to the security deposit.

You can take photos with your phone if you don’t have a camera at that specific moment on your move-in day. After you take photos, print another set of them as soon as it is possible. One set goes to you and another one to the landlord. Each of you should date and sign your set of photos.

If you decide to make a video, there will be date and time included. Save this video and send a copy to your landlord.

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Empty closet room.
Take pictures of the empty unit before you unpack your belongings.

Get your security deposit back

If everything goes as it should and your landlord is a normal and a good person, you will get your deposit back. But there are cases where landlord just doesn’t want to give the money back or try to frame you for some damages you didn’t even do.

If you get into some situation like this, which is very uncomfortable and unpleasant, you will have to deal with landlord differently. First of all, you can send a demand letter. Demand letter gives your landlord a chance to give you back your deposit without going to the court.

In case they do not respond to the letter, you will have to take them to the court. If this happens and they end up on the court, you can get up to three times amount of your deposit plus interest, Also, in case you hire a lawyer to deal with your case, a landlord will have to pay for the lawyer fees too.

These were the things you should consider in order to protect your right to the security deposit. Be careful and take care!