Putting down a deposit is required by some landlords when moving in to rent a new place. Some require a full month rental, half a month rental or some require no deposit at all. So, whether you do it on your own or go through a digital nomad-friendly housing company like NomadX, it’s important to understand how best to manage and document this process. After all, the landlord wants to know upfront that they can cover any damages that might occur or unpaid bills. Of course, everyone wants their money back—and that’s especially true for digital nomads, who can go through multiple rentals a year.
Want to make sure you get your deposit back? Here are some important steps to take.
1. Read your contract.
Seriously. Don’t sign anything before you’ve read it. In this day and age it’s so easy to just sign a document, but there could be something in there about you paying for typical wear and tear, for example—and that’s not something you want to sign up for. So, make sure you are clear on what’s required to get your full deposit back at the end of the rental.
2. Take pictures before you move your stuff in.
This seems annoying, but it’s actually really important. Having photos of what the place looked like before you moved stuff in can help cover you in case your landlord spots something that they missed before you moved in (and mistakenly blames you for).
3. While you’re at it, make sure your pictures have timestamps.
Photographic proof has a lot more weight if you happen to have irrefutable proof that your pictures were taken on a certain day.
4. Take inventory.
If you’re moving into a coliving space or a place with furnishings, type of an inventory of everything and send it to your landlord upfront. Too lazy to do that? At least snap photos of the kitchen utensils and linens so you have proof in the event that your landlord thinks something has gone missing.
5. Be as neat as you can.
You don’t need to go overboard, but showing your landlord that you can keep the place as clean and tidy as they would goes a long way toward establishing trust.
6. Get receipts for everything apartment-related.
That means rent, utilities, and anything else you happen to pay for that’s related to your rental. Your landlord has other stuff to keep track of, and they could forget that you actually paid a bill—and try to take it out of your deposit. This tends to be where most disagreements occur.
7. Have a good relationship with your neighbors.
Make friends with the people who live around you, and be courteous of them and their schedules. Trust us, your landlord will hear about it if you’re having all-night ragers, and that’s not going to do you any favors in the long run. So, being respectful of your neighbors and housemates is always helpful.
8. Report any issues.
Stuff breaks, even when you’re taking amazing care of it. Make sure you check in with your landlord ASAP when this happens. And, if something broke because it was old, it’s okay to say that. Letting them know about these things when they happen can go a long way toward building trust.
9. Don’t be a party house.
Sure, it’s okay to host your friends here and there, but don’t become the place that everyone consistently crashes at after a late night. Your landlord will catch wind of it, and it won’t mean good things for you. Also, if you do plan to have house guests, it’s helpful to know ahead of time if this is permitted, or possibly get it approved in advance to minimize future issues.
10. Take photos before you move out.
Landlords usually hand back a deposit after you’ve moved on. You don’t want to give yours any opportunity to claim last-minute damage that doesn’t exist. So, try to manage getting the deposit back at departure is always a good idea to minimize potential issues in the future.
If you ever have problems with getting your deposit back for a NomadX property, please contact [email protected] immediately so we can help resolve the issue.