As a Seattle renter, it helps to plan in advance so you can get your security deposit back. It is important that you have good property maintenance. Property repairs are among the top reasons landlords withhold security deposit funds in the first place. It is to your advantage to minimize the potential repairs that have to be done when you move out. Here are several useful habits of a good renter that you can cultivate to ensure that the property will be in good condition when you leave and that you will get your security deposit refunded in full.
1. Decorate Without Holes
One thing you have to plan ahead of time is how you will decorate your rental home. Avoid making a lot of holes in the walls or other permanent changes to the property if you do not want expensive repairs after moving out, which you will be responsible for. Instead of hanging your decor using nails or screws, it would be better to use non-marking, removable fasteners instead. These hooks are capable of supporting varying weights and sizes and can easily be removed without damaging the wall.
You can also use coasters or pads for your table legs, couches, and other heavy items to protect your floors when moving furniture. Floor damage is very common and is usually costly to repair. When you plan and have the right supplies on hand, you can avoid gouging or scraping floors or tearing carpets when you rearrange your furniture.
2. Regular Deep Cleaning
It is also important to clean your rental home regularly to ensure you get your security deposit back. A cleaning regimen is vital if you will be staying long in a home. Surface cleaning will get most of the grime out in the short term but you will need regular deep cleanings if you plan to stay in the rental home for longer than a couple of months. Deep cleaning should include scrubbing grout, wiping down kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans, cleaning appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, and dishwasher), and performing basic maintenance on appliances. You should also clear hair from drains, change light bulbs, dust blinds, and ceiling fans. You can keep your deposit intact by keeping your rental home clean and avoid having funds taken out for easily avoidable repairs.
3. Minimize Damage
If you live with kids or pets in your rental home, it is important to minimize any damage they could possibly cause. Children and pets can often be hard on a home’s painted walls and other surfaces, so it is prudent to take extra precautions. You can protect walls from scrapes, scratches, and stains by arranging your furniture against them. Using rugs around the house protects floors and provides a soft place that your little ones can enjoy. Designating certain areas to be off-limits to pets or playtime can help ensure that any damage to walls or floors is confined to fewer areas of the house. You should also have quality cleaning materials on hand, such as magic erasers, to remove scuffs and rogue scribbles.
4. Report Maintenance Issues
It is also good to alert your landlord when you notice maintenance issues in the home. But this is actually a good habit to develop. If your landlord knows about these maintenance issues early on, they can address them immediately. Regular maintenance and minor repairs can prevent major -and expensive- repairs later on. Moreover, any damage noticed after you have left the house is your responsibility; things that your landlord fixes while you are still living in the home are typically paid for by the landlord himself. Reporting maintenance issues helps ensure that you will receive your entire security deposit back.
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