When it comes to moving into a rental, there are a lot more things to consider than just the cost of rent. In addition to rent, you need to think about utilities costs and the cost of the deposit. And while the deposit can seem like an arbitrarily set amount of money you have to pay, understanding its uses can help you better understand the cost.
Extra Cleaning Costs
One of the main reasons why you have to pay a security deposit is to ensure that the rental can be properly cleaned if you haven’t done a good job maintaining the property. It’s important that you understand what types of instances can require cleaning services brought in.
For some landlords, they may deduct money from your deposit for carpet cleaning regardless of if you need or want it. But the majority of landlords will take money from your deposit if you leave it unclean when you move out—are the counters wiped off? The bathroom cleaned? These things can all cost you money if not taken care of.
Another thing your rental deposit can cover is unpaid rent. Lack of payment can put you in a tight spot, and you can use some of the deposit to tide yourself over. It’s important that you remember your deposit in moments like these in order to make sure you don’t have to pay excessive late fees. If you really can’t pay rent, you can request that rent for the month be withdrawn from your deposit.
One of the main things that landlords want to prevent is the possibility of property damage. Having a security deposit from you, the renter, can help insure them against the possibility of this type of damage. But because your deposit can be used to cover any property damage, it’s especially important that you note any and all damage done to the apartment before you move in.
Carefully inspect your apartment for appliance problems, dents in the walls, and mold. Then carefully photograph and document all of these counts of damage for both you and your landlord in order to ensure that you don’t end up having to forfeit your deposit for damage you didn’t do.
Paying a deposit can seem a little heart-wrenching at first. Not only do you have to pay a set amount of rent, but you’re also required to pay multiple months of rent upfront. But thinking about the function of the deposit can help you understand why you pay it and can help you understand what you need to do to ensure you’ll get it back at the end of the rental term.
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