For the many tenants who are renting apartments all over the United States, sometimes one of the hardest things is getting their deposit back. In fact some of them even have to hire a security deposit lawyer to get it back. But there are some things that can be done even before you move in to ensure that you have an easier time getting your deposit back.
Carefully read the lease. Understand everything that’s in it. Note that the leases aren’t permanent and they can be altered. If you see something in your lease that is unreasonable it’s alterable if you speak with the landlord about it.
Go through your apartment with a checklist, either one that the landlord gives you or one that you make yourself. Take note of any already existing damage that you see before moving in. This is often quite tedious so enlist the help of friends if you can. It won’t seem like it’s so bad after all. This is going to help you see everything that is already in your apartment and make a conscientious list of the damage that was pre-existing.
Take your digital camera or the camera on your cell phone and take pictures of everything that you see in the apartment that was there before you moved in. make sure that the pictures have the date on them so that you have evidence that they were taken before you moved in. After you have done that go on a walk-through with your landlord and be sure they’re signing off on your list. Also, print your pictures out and send them copies of the pictures and your check-list to your landlord by mail with a return receipt so that they can sign off on it. Let them know in your letter that if you don’t hear back within 14 days that you’re assuming that you’re assuming that they are signing off.
These are three things that you can do before you move into a new apartment to help with assuring you get your deposit back. If you live in Chicago, it’s good to know an Illinois tenants lawyer so that your landlord doesn’t take advantage of you.