The most nerve-racking aspect of moving out has to be getting the security deposit back. While some landlords are honest and forthright during the process, others are looking for any little reason to deduct from your deposit. There are countless horror stories about landlords refusing to return a security deposit for the most minuscule of reasons.
Condominiums tend to have the worst fights over security deposits. That’s because many condominium landlords are simply property investors who don’t know any better. They want to keep as much money as possible and can be annoyed the tenant is leaving.
Here are the four things you must do to get your security deposit back in Southeast Asia. We can’t promise you that these will work, but they will help you in your quest.
1) Check for charges
Some lease contracts have built in agreements that state you must pay for certain cleaning services upon moving out. These can’t be avoided if you signed the contract. However, a landlord may not take the service charges out of your security deposit if you did not agree to them in the contract.
2) Leave no stone unturned when cleaning
The most common trick landlords use to withhold a security deposit is finding an area you didn’t clean. The inside of cabinets, behind doors and underneath sinks are a few of the places they will check first. If you truly want your security deposit back, you have to clean every millimetre of your unit, not just the visible areas.
3) Notify the landlord of issues before moving out
A lot of people will have a small issue in their home and never bother telling their landlord about it. Something tiny like a loose door hinge or nicked countertop may not seem like a big deal, but are the types of things landlords will look for during their final inspection. It is better to tell them about these issues as soon as they happen as opposed to waiting until it’s time to move out.
4) Keep your deposit receipt
One common trick among nefarious landlords is to try to return a lesser sum than what your security deposit was knowing most renters won’t keep their receipt. In order to avoid a he said/she said argument, make sure to get a receipt when paying your security deposit and store it in a safe place until it is time to move out.
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