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4: Make Your Housing Plan — I Want to Rent

Security Deposits

Image of bank safeYour security deposit likely will be the equivalent of one or two month’s rent, paid up front. But getting that money back can be troublesome. Here are some ways to make sure you get your deposit back when you decide to move:

  • Unless you are renting from a private owner, make your check out to a company rather than an individual. 
  • Do some research in your state to find out what’s refundable and the rules regarding filing dispute claims if your landlord refuses to refund your security deposit. In some cases, the landlord may have to go to court to keep your money. 
  • Know what qualifies as vacating your residence and get proof when you turn in the keys. 
  • Refer back to pictures that you took when you moved in to show proof of pre-existing damages. 
  • Take pictures of the unit as you are leaving it to substantiate your claim. 

If all else fails, you can have an attorney issue a demand letter or send one yourself using any one of several online services. Small claims court also is an inexpensive way to recoup your deposit money.

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