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5 Tips to Help Get Your Security Deposit Refund When Moving Into Apartments in Chico California

Sep 15, 2013 3:56:00 PM / by Hignell Rentals Team

security depositIf rental living is nothing new to you, then you know that sometimes it’s difficult to get some, if any of your security deposit back, and what you do get back seems unfair because you were a good, tidy resident. If you’re just starting out by renting apartments in Chico California then hopefully this information will be helpful for you. To ensure you get as much of your deposit back as possible we’re offering some tips you can do before moving in and when you decide to move out!

1.  Read the Lease

Take the time to read the fine print and make sure you read and understand the entire lease. Each lease is a little bit different, but they almost all say something about the security deposit. For example, is there a cleaning fee when you move out? A charge to have the carpets cleaned or apartment repainted? If the contract doesn’t say anything about the security deposit refund, ask!

2.  Complete a Walk-Through Form

A walk through form lists the condition of the apartments in Chico California at the time you move in. You want to document anything that you notice. For example, a hole in the wall, a dent in a cupboard, hard water stains in the bathroom, etc. It’s recommended that you fill this out as soon as you get the keys, and definitely within 48 hours of moving in. This form will often come with the lease, but if it doesn’t there’s no reason you can’t make your own. See an example and a video here. It’s ideal if you can do the walk through with the property manager, but if not then fill out the form yourself, turn it in and ask the property manager to sign it. Then make a copy so you each have the documentation.

3.  Take Pictures

You can never document too much! Take photos of anything that you are marking off on the walk through form and include them with the form when you turn it in. Save copies for yourself too. If you can, take wide angle photos of the rooms in the apartment too. Turn on the digital date stamp when taking the photos. That way, if anything happens while you’re living there you have the dated proof of what it looked like prior to you moving in.

4.  Notify Management When Something Happens

If something goes bad while your living in apartments in Chico California, and it’s not your fault – like a pipe bursting causing water damage or a broken window from someone trying to break in – make sure you let the property manager know right away so it can be fixed. Again, make sure to document by filling out a request for service and taking photographs.

5.  Clean Your Apartment from Top to Bottom

When you’re ready to move out of apartments in Chico California, do a thorough cleaning of the entire apartment, top to bottom. This includes wiping the blinds, baseboards, and inside the cupboards, scrubbing the floors and shower, polishing the counter tops and appliances, and even repairing any damage that went undocumented or you caused. The best policy is to leave the place in better condition than it was when you moved in.


Understand that you may not get your entire security deposit back from the property manager because they do usually need to use some of it to clean the carpets, patch holes and paint or replace the blinds. But using the above tips before moving into apartments in Chico California will help you get back the best refund you can. 

When you decide it's time to move out, use this Cleaning Checklist for all the places you wouldn't think to clean! Your property manager will charge you to get anything professionally cleaned that was left unattended (and cleaning baseboards costs more than you think!).

Cleaning Checklist Move Out Inspection

Topics: Apartment Living, Moving

Hignell Rentals is Your Home for Northern California Rentals.

At Hignell Rentals we have been maintaining and renting properties in the North State since 1970. We value relationships and caring communities, honoring and encouraging one another, unwavering integrity, uncommon generosity, and growth and innovation. We strive to provide our residents with a quality living environment across the North State in Redding, Red Bluff, Chico, Oroville and surrounding areas.