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Apartment Living 101: How To Get Back Your Security Deposit

Published Jan 27, 2020
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When you lease an apartment, you're generally required to provide a security deposit. This money will be returned to you if your apartment is in good shape when you move out.

To ensure your security deposit is returned, we've got a few suggestions for you to follow. 


Review your lease

Read the lease before you sign it to familiarize yourself with the terms. Review the lease again when you plan to move, to make sure you haven't done anything that'll jeopardize your security deposit. It's also a good idea to talk to your landlord and ask them to perform a move out inspection. They can tell you what, if anything, you need to fix or clean in order to get your security deposit back. 


Record enhancements

While you live in your apartment, you may feel the need to make enhancements. Small enhancements may even help you when it's time to move out. Before you make any adjustments to your apartment, get your landlord's approval. Make sure to take photos, save receipts, and write notes about the enhancements you've made.



Do a deep clean before you move out to get areas you may have missed over the months. Got a stain on the carpet? Remove it easily with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water. Spray the mixture on the stain and let it soak in for a few seconds. Cover the stain with a cloth and iron the spot for about 30 seconds. If your stain isn't gone, repeat the process until it is. Also, make sure you remove all of your belongings; don't leave anything behind for the landlord to deal with.


Pay your rent

Paying your rent on time every month shows your landlord you are responsible. Some renters won't pay their last month's rent thinking the security deposit will cover it. Unless you paid first and last month's rent when you signed the lease, you are legally required to pay your last month's rent. You'll get your security deposit back, plus any interest it acquired over your rental term. Additionally, return all keys for the apartment when you move out. The cost to replace keys or dispose of anything left behind can be deducted from your security deposit.