How to Almost Guarantee That You Will Get Your Apartment Deposit Back

Lee HansenStarred Page By Lee Hansen, 30th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Property & Real Estate>General

Don't make the mistake in assuming that you will automatically get your deposit back when leaving your apartment.

First Things First

Before moving into an apartment take "before" pictures to keep of how it looked when you first moved in. Do the same when you leave. It will be a good reference point to have. Be sure that it is move-in ready with no problems that you might be blamed for. Include the following items or things to do:

Holes and Damage On Walls

If you have holes in your walls from hanging pictures be sure to use putty and a little paint to repair them. Landlords want the apartment to be left in good shape before renting it to another tenant. The less they have to do in prepping it the better.

Clean Out Closets Completely

Be sure to remove all your clothing from closets and storage area. If you don't want them, donate to a local charity if they are still in good shape. It is not the landlord's responsibility to figure out what to do with them.

Clean Appliances

Although they may not be in pristine condition they should be thoroughly cleaned for the next person who will occupy the apartment.

Remove Trash

Get rid of all trash and debris from the premises. Aside from being a sanitary issue, it could cause a problem with rodents and roaches being attracted to the garbage.

Floor Care

If you have carpet be sure to vacuum it thoroughly. If you have hardwood floors sweep well. Be sure nothing is left on the floor that might cause a tripping hazard.

Issues Related to Landlord

If you have problem with things such as broken pipes and plumbing, contact the landlord immediately. No need in paying for something that is the landlord's responsibility.


Some landlords will allow tenants to paint their walls when they move in with the stipulation that they paint them back to its original color before you leave.


Let the landlord know well in advance when you plan on leaving. Breaking your lease will almost guarantee that you won't get your deposit back.

In the End It's Worth It

While it might take a little elbow grease on your part, it will be worth the effort when you get that deposit back.

Credit: Pictures by Wikimedia Commons


Apartment Building, Apartment Deposit, Appliances, Broken Pipes, Damaged Walls, Deposit, Elbow Grease, Flooring, Landlord, Landlords Responsibilities, Pictures, Tenants Rights, Trash And Debris

Meet the author

author avatar Lee Hansen
As a breast cancer survivor I have learned to take time to smell the roses in life. I love sharing my passion of reading to children. My pages will be on various topics.

Share this page

moderator Peter B. Giblett moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar cnwriter..carolina
30th Aug 2014 (#)

so many things that landlords do to keep the deposit...oh dear me...thank you for this...

Reply to this comment

author avatar Lee Hansen
30th Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks cnwriter..carolina. Landlords don't always make it easy.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Boy, these are great tips. Having been a life-long apt. dweller, I can tell stories about how some tenants make it hard on the rest of us, too. Thanks for a great piece!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Lee Hansen
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks Susan. So you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's unfortunate that many tenants don't care how they leave a place and the other tenants suffer as a result.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Delicia Powers
3rd Sep 2014 (#)

Outstanding the tip of taking a "before" picture...!...well done Lee.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Lee Hansen
3rd Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks D. Hope it helps others.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
28th Sep 2014 (#)

Lee, great article and good advice.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Lee Hansen
1st Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks Nancy. I appreciate the comment.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?