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Steps to Ensure You Get Your Rent Deposit Back

Have you come across a dodgy landlord who won’t refund to give you a rent deposit refund after you move out? He ignores your calls when you call and wants to give excuses as to why he won’t pay you? Or maybe you’ve come across the ones who don’t return the full amount because they need to make repairs from the damage you caused? You are not alone. The process of getting back your deposit can get stressful to a point where you decide to forget about and move on.  

If you are one of these people, worry not. There are steps you can take to ensure that you get your rent deposit back. First off, make sure you read the fine print on your tenancy agreement. It will usually state whether the deposit is refundable or non-refundable. Also, serve notice in advance if you want to get your full refund back. If you can find another tenant to replace you when you move out, the better. The landlord won’t have to spend any resources to look for another one. Some landlords will look for any reason not to give you back your money, don’t give them one.

Take Photos When You Move Out

You might not see the need of taking pictures when you move out but it very important. Anything could happen when the house is empty and you don’t want the landlord to blame you for it. The evidence will help you make your case and not have to pay for damages which you didn’t cause.

Clean Up

clean up

When it is time to move, leave the house presentable and clean. If you had pictures hanging on the walls, remove any nails or hooks and fix any holes present. Sweep and mop the floors before you leave. Clean windows and fix any broken locks. When you are done, take pictures to show the landlord how you left the house.

Create an Inspection Checklist

After you move in, do a walk-through of the entire house preferably with the landlord and make a list of what’s in perfect condition and what needs repairing. Make 2 copies of this list and give one to your landlord. Landlords shouldn’t make you replace everything in the house unless what you are replacing was brand new or completely damaged. You shouldn’t replace things that have gone through wear and tear.

Damages and Repairs

People don’t report damages to the landlord when they are still living in the house. This makes it hard for them to convince the landlord why they need a full refund on their deposit. While you still live in the house and there are damages, report them to the landlord or caretaker immediately. They will either fix it or have you fix it on your own. Make sure you agree with the landlord and keep this information in writing so that it doesn’t affect your security deposit.

Know Your Rights as a Tenant

Knowing your rights as a tenant will help you in so many ways, especially when it comes to getting back your rent deposit. If you don’t ask, the landlord won’t volunteer to give it to you. It’s that simple.  If you don’t know your rights, landlords can easily take advantage of you and even make you pay for things that you are not supposed to pay for.

Communicate With Your Landlord

When you are asking for your rent deposit refund, try your best to put all the communication with your landlord in writing.  This will help you to make a case in the event that it becomes a court case. Money matters get some people emotional and you could end up speaking rudely to your landlord. You will only be adding more fuel to the fire if you do decide to go this route. Be respectful and polite when having this conversation.

Warn Other Tenants

If the landlord refuses with your money completely, you can warn other potential tenants so that they know what they are getting themselves into. You can post this information on neighbourhood groups on social media to warn people who might consider living in that apartment. Don’t be too harsh when you are giving your feedback. You might end up looking like you are angry and bitter (even though you are).

Have you had any issues getting back your rent deposit? How did you go about it?

 

WRITTEN BY
Maureen Mbithe
Content Writer at BuyRentKenya
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