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Old 10-09-2017, 11:01 AM
Location: Raleigh
5,827 posts, read 4,277,089 times
Reputation: 7575


For the second time in my life, I got my complete security deposit back, 1X Rent for the regular deposit and 1/2 rent for pet deposit.

The first time was a bit of a layup. The lease said "broom swept" and they were demolishing the building anyway. So, as long as they didn't have to pay someone to remove your crap from it pre-demolition they couldn't really withhold for damages.

This time it was a place that had been somewhat renovated. New bathrooms, new kitchen, 20 year old carpet upstairs, hardwoods downstairs that while old, were in nice condition. Paint was in decent condition.

Frankly, it took a lot of work. Hours. We aren't college students and we weren't throwing keggers in the place. My wife is a clean and neat person. I was also fortunate that the Landlord left the paint for the house in the closet, and asked us to "repair any holes from pictures and whatnot and touch up with paint." Most landlords would sooner have you change the motorcycle's oil in the kitchen than turn a tenant loose with a paint brush.

My wife hangs tons of knick-knacks all over. I spent a good hour or two at least patching the nail holes from these, patching holes from curtain rods, TV mounts, etc...So I had a good amount to touch up.

Walls: No matter how cautious you are, you will dirty/scuff the walls. The worst spot for us was the narrow stairway. I use Mr. Clean magic erasers. I used at least two packs of them. Be careful not to go too crazy as they can take up the paint. Also, make sure the water you use doesn't drip, the water runs are visible from a mile away. I spent at least four hours painting and "magic erasing" anything that looked off, whether it be from a door knob or a couch rubbing up or whatever.

Cleaning: We paid for a move out cleaning service. $150 or so. Two people worked for two hours on everything. That's what it took to make the porcelain shine, the fridge gleam, etc...

Carpets: I had a professional carpet cleaner come in. It was $100. There are cheaper deals on groupon but you get what you pay for. He treated the three spots where my dog vomited that we couldn't get out and put down something fresh smelling as well.

I replaced most of the Mini blinds since the ones he had on there were $12 from Home Depot and most of them had at least one bent blade.

The landlord complained about the carpet beginning to tear up and tried to blame our neglect and our dog, but it was 20 years old, looked like it, and we had pictures of the carpet unraveling at move in time.

He was also unhappy about us not putting down a mat at the entry way, where the door had worn through some of the finish on the wood floors. However, since the door was so low as to touch the floors, we couldn't have a mat there and open the door.

Anyhow, for one of the first times in my life, I had the luxury of an extra month to get the place nice.

Would I have gotten hammered for a ton of money if I didn't do all the walls? Maybe, maybe not, but I wanted to make sure the walls were in a condition my wife would accept before I turned the keys back.

One of my in-laws is a landlord with 20+ rentals. She, I and one of her daughters went over to one of her properties once after a tenant left. She said, "not bad, I'll get my hired man over here to paint and I'll need to do the carpets." Her daughter said, "these tenants are so disgusting." The LL, smirked, turned to her and said, "if I moved all your stuff out of your house you'd be shocked at how "disgusting" it looked...Her point was that moving in and moving out place quite a tax on the finishes of a place.

Anyhow, my .02 on it...All but one rental I've never had any qualms about the security deposit deductions. Most of the time its been paint (or carpet.)
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:12 AM
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
3,694 posts, read 4,468,319 times
Reputation: 4924
1st apartment- 3 years- full deposit back
2nd apartment- 1 year- full deposit back
3rd apartment- 3 months- full deposit back (temporary short term lease due to job- lease wasn't broken)
4th apartment- 2.5 years- had a pet (only time)- received full pet deposit back. Had $120 deduction off of regular deposit because I dropped the iron on the carpet. I expected it, obviously! Carpet was not new when I moved in, or I'm sure I would have been charged much more.

I have never, ever rented a carpet cleaner for an apartment. I've actually never done anything to move out more than regular cleaning. Three of my four apartments have had lovely flat paint white walls, and they are painted between every renter. That is normal around here. So they don't charge you for minor scuffs since they repaint anyway. Holes, yes, they charge. (They may have gotten away without repainting my short term rental). The other one had nice paint and I only lived there a year. I lived alone. No damage.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:14 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
4,465 posts, read 3,151,567 times
Reputation: 8268
Most of my tenants get their full deposits back. I send them a list of what the expectations are, basically that it looks the same moving out as moving in.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:46 PM
1,708 posts, read 636,672 times
Reputation: 1427
All the years and place, Only got one back.. Rest of the time im fighting for it. .Gave notices, left the place in clean if not better state then it was when i go it.. Follow their rules and still nothing. Pet deposits refunds are virtualy impossible to get back, as now most are "non-refund".. and demanding pet rent on top of that.. talking about double dipping..
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:12 PM
147 posts, read 63,638 times
Reputation: 361
I rented two apartments after my divorce.

The first one was a cheapo. They tried to hold some of my deposit for cleaning the oven. I cleaned the oven the old-fashioned way. i asked to see the oven that was so awful because it had only been a couple of days. They had taken the oven out of that unit and put it into another one so they gave me my $$$ back. That probably wouldn't work most of the time, but it did for me.

The second time was fairly luxurious for our area. They gave me a list of what they wanted done. I did it. I got my deposit back a few days later.

No pets, no pictures, no children, etc. involved in either of these. It was just me, myself, and I, and those three people worked a second job. I didn't have time to have parties or mess the place(s) up.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:35 PM
889 posts, read 1,853,327 times
Reputation: 511
in my brief renting history, theres never been a time i got my deposit back. but at no fault of my own. the laws support landlords which is horrible. i cleaned out my last apartment great, got the carpet cleaned and everything.

they never sent my deposit back even after asking for my forwarding address. some people are just rotten
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:53 PM
8,053 posts, read 8,806,429 times
Reputation: 12383
Unlike most others on this forum, our properties are high end luxury rentals in very hot markets. Due to this, we place a very high premium on getting the full deposit back with extremely strict rules. I can understand if others think these rules are way to harsh and even bordering on excessive (if not illegal) but they are what we demand. The rules are: 1. Leave the premise with no damages above wear and tear and 2. Not owe any money. I know, I know we are bullies and tyrants oppressing the working man, but I refuse to reduce these requirements just to appease society.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:46 PM
Location: Northern Cali-for-nigh-aye
14,660 posts, read 17,881,858 times
Reputation: 25264
I've pretty much always had to mention the law regarding allowing tenants like me to get their full deposits back - in order to get my full deposit back.

Even though I was an apartment manager for many years, I understand what it's like to be a tenant, too. Most landlord will try to rip off their departing tenants out of at least part of their deposit, unlawfully. A shame, but true. I know how to use the law to make sure I don't get ripped off. But, most tenants expect and put up with being ripped off every time they move. It's a shame.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:04 AM
Location: The Heart of Dixie
1,359 posts, read 815,107 times
Reputation: 3379
Seems to vary depending on the LL. I've had some nitpick over the smallest thing and others that surprised me by giving it all back. Like the one where the full deposit was returned even though I accidentally left a pot rack hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen. I was moving out of state and just flat forgot it. It was very nice, so maybe they just left it for the next tenants.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:21 AM
2,823 posts, read 2,844,582 times
Reputation: 6128
We only take off for unpaid rent, or no notice, or obvious damages. We never take off for wear and tear.
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