security deposit in New York City

The majority of New Yorkers are renters, which means the rental market in this city can be very competitive. By looking at apartments for rent in the Brooklyn area, for example, you can see that new places for rent are always being added to the market or being snapped up instantly, and the prices can be eye-waveringly high too. 

Due to these high costs, New Yorkers want to know exactly how to protect their security deposits so they can get their money back when they decide to move. Unfortunately, it’s very common for people to lose their security deposits due to damage or cleaning costs. So, how can you avoid this issue and protect your money? Read on to find out more. 

Check your lease 

The New York rental market can move very quickly, but this doesn’t mean you should rush through your paperwork and not read things properly. To protect your security deposit and make sure you get it back when you eventually move, you must read your lease carefully and check the terms. The terms of your lease will tell you what can lead to your deposit being forfeited (e.g., damaged/broken appliances, damaged flooring, persistent odors) and what shouldn’t lead to you losing this money (e.g., reasonable wear and tear). 

Take photos 

It’s important that you aren’t penalized for issues that already existed before you moved in. This is why you must take photos of all areas of the place when you move in so you can have a record of the condition it was in. Your lessor should create a rental checklist to document the current condition of your rental home- if you notice any issues that haven’t been mentioned in the checklist, tell your landlord so these issues can be added. 

Document all issues 

When you’re living in the property, you should always properly document all issues that come up. If things are damaged due to your own negligence then you’ll probably have to pay for them yourself, but if there are wear and tear issues such as a faulty appliance, then you must notify the landlord as soon as possible so they can handle repairs. Always keep copies of your emails to your landlord so you can prove that you reported problems in a timely manner. 


Throughout your tenancy, you must try to keep your apartment clean and tidy so you have a better chance of getting your security deposit back. If the dirt builds up, you may find it harder to clean everything when you move out, or you could even cause a pest problem. To improve your chances of getting your money back, you could hire a professional cleaner

before you move out so you know that the apartment is spotless. This will make it harder for your landlord to keep the money to cover ‘cleaning costs’. 

Getting your security deposit back can be a challenge. However, by checking your lease, taking photos when you move in, documenting all issues, and keeping everything clean and tidy, you can maximize your chances of protecting your security deposit in New York City.

We hope you found this blog post How to Protect Your Security Deposit in New York City useful. Be sure to check out our post Detailed Move Out Cleaning Checklist You Should Know for more great tips!

End Of Lease Tips For A Fast Deposit Return

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