10 Tips to Get Your Pet Deposit Back

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10 Tips to Get Your Pet Deposit Back

Staff Writer · Feb 21, 2010

When it comes to your pet deposit, it’s money that you don’t want to lose. Depending on the landlord, a pet deposit can be a substantial amount of money. Regardless of the amount, why lose money unnecessarily? Take these ten steps to improve your chances of getting your pet deposit back.

Actions You Should Take

1) Move your pet into your new home as soon as possible. Do it a week in advance if possible, to give yourself plenty of time to do some clean-up and repairs around your old apartment before turning in the keys to your landlord. Even a couple of days to clean up all messes can work. Move your pet around your schedule, allowing as much clean-up time as possible.

2) Rent a carpet cleaner. A mere vacuum or carpet powder cleaner won’t fully work on carpets that have been soiled by pet traffic. Follow the instructions carefully. For best results, clean the carpet twice before returning the cleaner. Do this as soon as you have successfully moved your pet into your new home. You also want to mop all hardwood floors extensively.

3) Leave an air freshener out for a couple of weeks prior to moving out. Do this in all rooms. Keep it working continuously for best effect. Although it’s a subtle effect, having a clean-smelling apartment can help your landlord realize the care that you have taken with it.

4) Paint over any chewing your dog may have done to cabinets, doors or furniture. Refinishing may be necessary, but that’s a pretty simple do-it-yourself project. Also, paint over any areas on the walls that the animal may have damaged. If it’s a furnished apartment, inspect all pieces of furniture, making repairs yourself when necessary.

Communication

5) Talk to your landlord about the fact that you would like to receive your pet deposit back at the same time as you receive your security deposit. Explain all that you have done to take care of your apartment along the way, and feel free to mention all the cleaning you’ve done to erase any possible damage of your feline or canine companion.

6) Put your expectations in writing. Although you may be friends with your landlord, getting everything in writing is beneficial to both of you. It helps remind your landlord of the pet deposit, in case he may only be thinking of the security deposit. Although the landlord may have only the best of intentions, it’s easy to forget things if he has a lot of tenants.

7) Do a walk-through with your landlord when you go to move out. Be with him as he inspects the property. Point out to him how your pet did no damage to the residence, and be sure that he agrees to this fact in writing.

8) Follow up with your landlord upon moving out. Call the landlord about a week after moving out, letting him know that you are all moved in and confirming your new moving address. Keep the conversation friendly, yet remind him that you are still expecting the pet deposit back as well.

9) Make sure that you have received your pet deposit back by the deadline agreed upon. If the deposit has not been received, give your landlord the benefit of the doubt. Call him to remind him. Let him know that you expect it. If he gets evasive or defensive, let him know that you will take further action if it’s not received within two weeks.

10) File a civil suit if you do not receive your pet deposit. Although it may cost as much money as you ultimately receive to pursue the matter, the landlord should be held accountable for returning your pet deposit back if no damage was done to the apartment.

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