7 Effective Tips to Get Full Rental Deposit from Your Landlord
Tenant-owner conflicts are quite common, and getting back the full security deposit is uncertain in such situations. It is the owner's responsibility to return the security deposit after the term of the lease period. There are some rogue property owners who, by any means, refuse to refund the security deposit.
In this blog, we have listed a few ways to get the rental deposit back from the landlords, why is the security deposit collected by the landlords, what damage the amount is deducted etc.
What is a Security Deposit or Rental Deposit?
The security deposit is a large sum of money paid in advance by the tenant to the landlord when they move into the rented home. This is retained throughout the duration of the lease period and returned when the term expires. The contract in itself is protected by the Model Tenancy Act.
This security deposit is vital for the landlord and is set aside for unanticipated events during the tenancy period.
What is the Model Tenancy Act?
The Model Tenancy Act 2021 establishes a rent authority to regulate renting of premises, protect the interests of landlords and tenants, and provide a speed adjudication mechanism for resolving disputes and matters connected to it. What is stated in the Model Tenancy Act about security deposits?
- Both parties - tenant and landlord, should sign the agreement
- The agreement should mention the security deposit amount
- It should be registered at the sub-registrar office to be a legally binding contract
- The agreement should clearly state the responsibilities of both parties to avoid disputes
Tips to Get Your Security Deposit Back from the Landlord
#1 Maintain a Good Relationship with your Landlord
Read the terms and conditions thoroughly in the lease agreement. Before the lease period expires, research the proper procedures for ending the rental contract.
Ensuring the necessary maintenance and having a good relationship with the landlord helps increase the chances of letting little things slide and make the process go smoother.
#2 Document Everything Before Moving In and During the Tenure
Before moving in, make sure you document and take photographs of the vacant house and double-check that everything is properly documented on the rental agreement.
This documentation will serve as proof of keeping the property in accordance with the criteria outlined in the rental agreement in the event of a disagreement with the owner. Keep a note of every time you call the property owner to report for service maintenance.
#3 Give Proper Notice to Move-Out
The regulations determining lease termination vary based on location. However, it is customary that you provide your landlord with at least 30 days of notice before moving out.
If you fail to give your landlord sufficient notice, you may be obliged to pay an additional month's rent, and you may have to wait a long time to obtain the refund of the security deposit.
#4 Complete Necessary Repairs
Ensure that all necessary maintenance is performed on your behalf, such as tap repairs, deep scratches on walls, damaged tiles, and so on.
Such repairs will improve the overall condition and appearance of the property. Your homeowner would be aware of this and may refuse to take any deductions from your security deposit.
#5 Have the Owner do the Final Inspection
After you have completed the repairs, request your property owner to visit for an official inspection of the property.
This avoids any uncertainty about upkeep and maintenance and allows both of you to be on the same page when deciding on a moving-out date.
#6 Know Your Rights
Even if you do everything correctly, some landlords will try to illegally retain your security deposit (or a portion of it). And there's a good chance they'll get away with it.
Know your rights by researching your state's security deposit regulations. Also, if you need to break your lease, there are certain times when you can do so without penalty.
#7 Take Needful Action
When everything is done right and at the time of handing over the property, if the owner refuses to refund the security deposit. The first step is to inform the owner that you will take legal action.
Outline your contract terms and conditions and include your before and after moving in pictures. This will give pointers to your property owner that you are serious about getting back your refund and that you will approach the consumer court if needed and pursue legal action.
When Does the Landlord Hold the Security Deposit?
1. Nonpayment of Rent
When the renter doesn't pay their monthly rent, the landlord can often keep all or a portion of the security deposit as an alternative to the lost rent.
2. Damage to the Property
- Multiple/large cracks on the walls
- Large stains or carpet holes
- Extensive water damage to hardwood floors
- Missing outlet covers
- Cracked kitchen or bathroom countertop
- Broken bathroom vanity
- Shattered windows
- Broken doors
- Keys not returned at the end of tenancy
- Cleaning Costs
Normal Wear and Tear
Under normal circumstances, you cannot deduct normal cleaning charges from a tenant's security deposit, such as:
- A few minor holes left by picture hanging nails in the walls
- Little stains on the carpet
- Bathroom fixtures with tarnish
- Loose kitchen or bathroom cabinet knobs
- Filth, dust, or grime on the floors, walls, or appliances that are reasonable.
3. Unpaid Utilities
If a renter has not made any utility payments stipulated in their lease, such as for electricity, water, etc., they might not be eligible to receive their deposit back. In such situations, the landlord is permitted to keep their security deposit to offset those costs.
4. Breaking or Terminating a Lease Early
The landlord may keep all or a portion of the security deposit necessary to cover the costs of a broken lease. If the security deposit is inadequate to cover the amount, the tenant is responsible for paying any excess rent owed to the landlord for the remainder of the lease.
Most landlords or property owners despise losing renters since it entails refunding significant security deposits. In order to prevent losing so much money, they normally withhold the deposit you provided them.
In this blog, we have listed a few measures to undertake a security deposit refund from the landlords. The owner should only pay you this cash if your case meets these guidelines and circumstances. You can use this to plead your case in court if there is no breach of the rental agreement.