A security deposit is the amount of money that a renter must pay to the landlord to hold the rental, as well as for the landlord to pay for any repairs that must be made after the renter moves out. If you take good care of your unit and fix any minor damage on your own before you move out, your landlord should return your security deposit to you. In fact, renters are not required to pay for what is considered to be “normal wear and tear” on their unit. Unfortunately, it’s the murky definition of “normal wear and tear” that can create misunderstandings and a loss of your security deposit.
In general, normal wear and tear might include things like carpet matting, nail holes and faded paint. Beyond that, it is usually up to the landlord to make the call, but if you have stains or burns on the carpet, broken windows or window treatments, gouges in doors and walls, pet damage or worse, you can expect your landlord to keep all or some of your security deposit to repair the damages.
There are quite a few things you can do to help ensure that you keep damage to a minimum and get your security deposit back, including:
You must make sure you take as much care as you can to get your security deposit back. In addition, all renters should protect themselves with renters insurance. While it won’t help you get your security deposit back, it will ensure protection if your belongings inside your rental unit are damaged or destroyed by fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion or windstorm and water damage. In addition, renters insurance provides valuable liability coverage that protects you financially if you, a family member or a pet injures someone at your home or even somewhere else.
Renters insurance is very affordable—only $15 to $30 per month on average—yet renters often go without it. If you are concerned about losing your security deposit, consider the cost of replacing all of your possessions or being sued for an accident that happens in your apartment. That is an expense that no one can afford!
Have you ever had to forfeit all or part of a rental security deposit? Tell us why, and what you learned from your experience? Then call us about renters insurance and make sure you are covered today!