How can I guarantee my security deposit is refunded?

In a perfect world, [tag]security deposit[/tag]s would be fully refundable. In the real world, one of the bitterest battles between landlord and tenant arises over security deposit issues. How does a renter avoid conflict from the start? Start when you move in, being sure to do a complete walk-through of the premises. Most leases decree that the unit “is to be returned in the same condition as when first rented, less wear and tear.” Your task at hand is to establish exactly what condition the place was in front the start. The Word\'s Easiest Pocket Guide to Renting Your First Apartment (World\'s Easiest Guides)

Hopefully the [tag]landlord[/tag] will provide a walk-through or inventory checklist at move-in. If not, create your own. If possible, draw out a basic floor plan on a sheet of paper. Label the rooms, and indicate where windows and doors are placed to help narrow down the details. Bring a camera to back up any notable items, especially those already damaged, such as chipped tile or peeling paint. For each room, make note of the following items:

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