Protecting the Security Deposit at Your Gainesville, FL Apartment Home

Most Gainesville, Florida apartments require residents to pay a security deposit when leases are signed. The security deposit is held by the management company until the resident moves out. Typically, if the resident fulfills the terms of the lease and the apartment is left in acceptable condition, the management company will refund most or all of the security deposit.

It goes without saying that no one wants to lose money, so most Gainesville, FL apartment residents will do whatever they can to ensure they receive their security deposit back at the end of their lease. But is there anything renters can do to give themselves the best chance of a security deposit refund?

First, always pay your security deposit with a separate check. On the memo line, write “security deposit” and ask for a receipt. Keep a copy of the cancelled check for your records.

The next step to protecting a security deposit is thoroughly inspecting your apartment on the first day of your lease. Before you bring any of your possessions inside, make an inventory of every detail in the apartment.

To assist you in this effort, most management companies will give you a walk-through inspection sheet to complete on the first day of your lease, and this checklist is helpful because it reminds you of all the things you should be looking for. Take your time and methodically inspect everything in your apartment. Open and shut doors. Test locks. Test the air conditioner and heater. Flush toilets. Run water in the sinks. Examine the carpet for dirt or stains. Open and close the windows. Check for missing or ripped screens. Test the appliances. Look and listen for air and water leaks.

As you make a note of every issue in the apartment, take pictures, too. It also helps to bring a friend or loved one to help you find anything amiss. The more eyes there are the better.

When you are done with your move-in inspection, make a copy of your inspection sheet and bring it to your management company. Most management companies will ask you to sign your inspection sheet. At this time you can give your management company copies of the photos you took, too.

During the duration of your lease, take good care of your apartment. Clean it regularly. Make sure to vacuum, scrub the bathrooms, and wash the dishes so that you do not develop a bug problem. Report maintenance issues to the management right away so that they are repaired before they get worse. Keep track of what is fixed and when.

It also helps to pay your rent on time. Late rent can affect your security deposit.

Finally, when you are moving out of your Gainesville apartment, schedule a final walkthrough inspection with your management company. Bring your move-in checklist and pictures with you to the walkthrough, so that you can confirm the condition of the apartment when you moved in. Also make sure to give your management company your forwarding address where he or she can send your security deposit back. Likewise, it helps to submit your address change to the post office as soon as possible, too.

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