How to Properly Get Your Security Deposit Back from Your Landlord


If you’re leaving a rental, chances are you’re looking forward to getting back your security deposit. In order to get the full amount back, you’ll need to have taken good care of your apartment and not be in debt to your landlord.

You can’t be charged for normal wear and tear, but unpaid rent, utilities, or damage can come out of your security deposit.

So how do you get all or most of it back if you didn’t do anything seriously wrong? If you’re moving in San Diego soon, these tips can help you out.

  1. Play by the Rules

Before you call your local San Diego Moving Company, grab your lease first. Are you contracted for a certain amount of time? Is there a termination clause? Some landlords will let you go if you give 30-60 days notice, but read the contract to make sure.

When you do give notice, keep everything in writing so you can provide documentation, if necessary, later.

  1. Make it Presentable

Chances are the place will look pretty beat after you and the San Diego movers you may hire are finished with everything. You want the place to look as good as it did when you moved in, so pick up all trash, clean the floors, and pay attention to small details.

Don’t be afraid to ask for cleaning and painting guidelines. Management will look in showers, ovens, and may even check your freezer for the ice trays they provided. If you painted, ask management what the original color was so you can fix it.

When you’re finished, take photographs of everything so you have proof of the work you did. Make sure you can see the condition of the floor and walls.

  1. Know Your Rights

You should expect to get a letter, and hopefully a check, from your landlord within 30 days. You should receive an itemized list of deductions, so ask if you don’t have one and are missing some of your deposit. If you don’t get your deposit back and you’re moving in San Diego, your landlord is required by law to provide you with a reason for keeping your deposit.

If you don’t agree with deductions or you didn’t receive any money back, you should first send your landlord a letter to ask them why. If they don’t respond or are acting unfairly, you can then sue in court.

By following the rules in your contract, cleaning up, and knowing your rights, you should be set to receive money back.

Key Takeaway

Give your landlord the required amount of noticeThoroughly clean everything and pay attention to detailTake photographs before you leaveAsk for an explanation if you do not receive all your deposit backDocument all communication you have with your landlord