Here are some tips to properly prepare the home for the inspection to ensure your best possible refund: (most of these are required by your lease)
1. The home must be completely empty. You must be ready to hand the keys to the property over to the landlord/management company and leave the home at the end of the walk through.
2. All utilities must be left on for the inspection.
3. Make sure the home is fully clean. Make the home looks as you would want it as a new tenant.
4. The walls must be patched and touched up. Scratches, holes, scuffs, and other marks are not considered normal “wear and tear”.
5. Carpets should be shampooed if necessary. Stains are not considered normal “wear and tear”.
6. The home should be free of any odors or smells.
7. All appliances should be cleaned inside and out.
8. The yard should be cut, trimmed, and clean.
9. Make sure that your air filter has been changed and that there are no burnt or missing bulbs.
Failure to complete these tasks and return the home in the manner in which it is supposed to be returned will result in additional charges/deductions from your security deposit.
If you were allowed a pet, please keep in mind that the pet fee that was collected was non-refundable and that it was collected as a fee for keeping a pet in the property. The funds should not be considered as payment for leaving the home or carpets unclean or smelly. The home is still required to be returned in the condition it was given.
Georgia security deposit law notes that "normal wear and tear" is acceptable and cannot be deducted from a tenants security deposit. Please take note that normal wear and tear is the wear of an item or part of the home such as carpeting, flooring or paint, over a period of years. Examples of normal wear and tear would be slightly discolored and worn carpet on stairways or high traffic areas, typically associated with multiple years of use. An inability to match wall paint may occur due to normal fading of wall color over a period of years. Most normal wear and tear will occur after years of use. If you have rented the home for just a year or two, chances are, there will not be much in the home that would receive damage from normal wear and tear. If you are unsure, then consult your landlord/property manager, or if need be, seek legal advise from someone specializing in security deposits.