Disputing Deposit Charges

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One of the most common points of frustration for tenants is not getting back their entire deposit. Why does it happen?

It can happen for a number of reasons, such as the landlord charging for carpet cleaning, charges to repair broken items, charges to replace a missing items from the rental and so on. Many tenants get frustrated when they find out that these charges have been taken from their deposit payment, and tensions usually rise. What can YOU do as a tenant when you see that some of your deposit money has been taken?

• First, you need to contact your landlord in person or by phone. It’s always better to talk to someone, rather than try to explain in an email.

• Most importantly, proceed in a CALM and NICE manner. No one enjoys losing money, but arguing with your property manager right away will only make things worse. Would you have the desire to help someone if they are yelling at you?

• Ask for an explanation of the charges. Most of the time, there is a perfectly good reason you have been charged a fee from your deposit. If you get a detailed explanation of the charge from your property manager, often you will come to understand and accept the charge.

• If you still feel that you have been wrongly charged out of your deposit, explain your position in a CALM and FRIENDLY manner. Very often, property managers are willing to work with tenants who handle the situation in a proper manner. There is even a good chance that you can recover some of your money.

The best thought to remember is that most property managers are not out to steal your money. If you are willing to work with them, they are generally willing to work with you.