Document Your Apartment Move-in with Photos
Before you move-in and sign a lease, it's best to take a tour of the apartment concentrating on any damages or other problems. Ask to have these issues fixed before you sign the lease and do not sign until those issues are dealt with. If the landlord or property manager doesn't get around to having the issues fixed prior to move-in, it's a sign of future behavior.
Documenting your move-in with photos is smart.
Security deposits protect the landlord to cover the cost of any damages you cause to your unit such as carpet stains, carpet and countertop burns, broken tile, painting your walls a different color without permission, missing or broken smoke detectors, damages caused by pets, etc. As long as you abide by the terms of your lease, take proper care of your apartment's interior and effectively document prior damages, you should expect to receive your full security deposit back. Keep in mind that every state will have different laws regarding when a landlord is allowed to keep a tenant's security deposit.
Take photos before you move-in and after you move-out. If you capture your images on a cell phone, don't forget to upload them to your computer or the Cloud for safe storage.
This has been a quick tip by LandlordBreakup.com, the website for smart renters. If you're a renter who is curious about how you can turn your rent payment into a mortgage payment, check out our home buying course and home ownership plan for renters. Check out the course.