Lifetime renters see something different than first-time renters when they move into a new place; where first-timers see unbridled opportunity, veterans see all the ways they can lose their security deposit.Sharp renters know the law and how to use it when they move out, but the average landlord has usually been in the game long enough to have a few tricks of her own. Here are the things she’ll try to subtract from your deposit:1. Carpet Cleaning
You probably had to forfeit this much just to get into the place, because most landlords make you agree to carpet cleaning in the lease. State law often makes it illegal for landlords to bill for “normal wear and tear,” but if you agreed to it with your signature then you’re stuck with it.Where it gets tricky is whether you agreed to professional carpet cleaning, which is obviously more expensive than doing it yourself. If you don’t know – ask before you sign anything.2. Window Treatments
What is it with landlords thinking they can get tenants to pay for new blinds? This happens time and time again, and unless you broke them you don’t have to pay for new ones.Of course, that means you have to be careful with them while you’re in residence, so pull those cords with care.3. Nail Holes & Paint
A good landlord won’t penalize you for decorating your place, but be sure to ask before signing what the rules are for painting and hanging stuff on the walls.If your landlord intends to bill you for filling those holes, then you definitely want to take a quick YouTube crash course
and fill them yourself.4. General Cleaning
This is where things can get nasty. If your landlord arbitrarily deems you haven’t cleaned thoroughly enough, she’s going to bill you for a professional cleaner and you’ll watch your deposit burn up in the atmosphere.There are a couple ways to avoid this: 1) Clean like you’ve never cleaned before or, 2) use a Groupon or other Internet deal to get a pro cleaner in at a discount.5. Damaged Appliances
Who in the world wants to buy their landlord a new refrigerator
? No one. Ever. So, how do you avoid doing that? Easy: Don’t damage it, and if it breaks report it to the landlord immediately and accurately. And, that goes for all appliances.Follow these tips and you’ll have a much better chance of getting back your full deposit.