Let’s be completely honest – why does everyone dread moving out? Well for one, moving is a lot of work. Besides that, we know we’re going to have to clean! We are going to be on our hands and knees scrubbing floors and cleaning the shower – when you leave chances are your apartment is cleaner than it ever was when you were living there!

We do all of this because of two words: security deposit. When you move into an apartment they request a deposit amount anywhere from $200 to a full month’s worth of rent, depending on your credit.  This is to cover anything that might get broken while you live there that might be your fault. When we say anything we mean it. Hey, people get crazy! If you have a food fight in your apartment they do not want to pay for covering spaghetti-sauce-turned-paint. Even if you’re not wild and crazy and you are super careful, you may not get all that cash back. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to make sure you get your security deposit upon moving out.


First things first – check your lease. Closely. Chances are your lease has loads of details on everything your apartment management is looking for when you move in and out. When you move in, you’ll be handed a checklist. Use it! Be extremely detailed as you check the blinds, check the drains, curtain rods, window seals, scratches on wood floors…etc. Check out each room and notate (take photos even!) of any little flaw there might be. If anyone asks you later if that was there when you moved in, you’ll have proof. It’s a safeguard for you!


Second, be sure to ask questions when you move in. How old is the carpet? How new is the paint? Knowing this will help later on if you’re stuck with a bill. (If the paint wasn’t new when you moved in, then why would you be responsible for the whole bill?)

Pay attention to what breaks from normal wear and tear and be sure to report it ASAP. Your landlord should be responsible for replacing these basic things – think light bulbs, a refrigerator or AC problem, etc.

Try your best to take care of the place while you live there! Pet stains, wine stains – most of these things can be taken care of if they’re caught early. Don’t let it sit! The sooner the better with stains or anything that breaks.


Also when you move in make sure you’re clear on who is responsible for cleaning when you move out. Did you pay a non-refundable cleaning deposit? If so, then professional cleaners will be taking care of it, but you want to make sure you don’t leave a mess.

If you are told that you will not be receiving all of your security deposit back, ask why. Get an itemized list of what you are being charged for! Often if it’s something simple like drip pans for the oven, you can ask if you can go buy them yourself to replace and save a few bucks.

As always, if you’re looking for a new apartment, we can help. Call or text us at 972.413.8071 – we know Dallas and the outlying suburbs.

How to Keep your Apartment Deposit