While you live there

After you move in, you should still try to keep on top of any damage done to the property. Here are some basic tips on what you should do if something goes wrong with the property while you live there.

If the property is damaged by something like:

  • A storm
  • A fire
  • An accident (like a neighbor accidentally breaking a window with a baseball)
  • A vandal or a burglar

You should tell your landlord immediately. These things are usually not your fault, and your landlord can’t use your security deposit to fix them.

If something in the apartment breaks during normal use (like a sink, or the caulking on a bathtub starting to leak), notify your landlord, and take any steps you can to prevent damage to the property. You should take steps to have the problem repaired – depending on your lease, this might be your responsibility, or it might be the responsibility of your landlord.

If you, someone in your family, or one of your guests damages the property, it might be a good idea to fix the damage before you move out. This may end up costing less than your landlord would take out of your security deposit to fix the damage. Some damages you can probably even fix yourself, like:

  • Cleaning crayon art off the walls
  • Replacing missing or damaged window screens
  • Replacing missing cabinet or drawer handles


Published: August 2016

PTLA #633