Planning to move? That’s awesome. But on top of the stress of the apartment hunt, coordinating with movers, and figuring out what new furniture to buy, you also have to worry about sorting out the details of how you’ll get your security deposit returned to you. Less awesome, huh? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled this list of 4 ways to make sure you get your security deposit returned to you in Dubai. Happy moving!

Get that evidence, detective

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to compile a check-in report upon moving into the apartment. This would involve sending a full inventory and photographic evidence of any damages or issues with the condition of the apartment to your landlord before you move in (and get them to confirm receipt!) With this, it’ll be much easier for you and the landlord to determine if there’s been any damages incurred by you at the end of your lease. As long as the issues are minor, and you’ve recorded any larger ones, you should be able to get the full security deposit refund back when you move out. Bonus points if you actually put on a trench-coat, a hat, and carry around a magnifying glass when you produce the report. Commitment to a role is everything, after all.

Treat your tenancy contract like a precious jewel

We know, we know. Tenancy contracts suck: the font is small, there’s boring legal lingo you don’t understand, and there aren’t even any fun pictures to look at. But it’s actually super important—in addition to stipulating the rights and liabilities ascribed to you and your landlord, it includes details about security deposit claims, so you should definitely give it a close read. Sometimes a lease will include a maintenance clause, which will mean you’re responsible for paying for minor maintenance to the apartment, while the landlord is responsible for major work. It may also include specific rules about repainting or wall brackets and/or nails in the walls. In general, it pays off to check in with the landlord about any ambiguities in the contract (like what ‘as is’ condition really means) or any specific procedures they follow that might not be in the contract (for example, some landlords require you to provide the original receipt of deposit to get it back in full). It’s tedious, but clarifying and explicitly discussing the details of the contract is in your benefit, we promise!

Figure out the furniture

If you’re moving into a furnished apartment, don’t forget to be super meticulous in assessing the condition of the furniture before move-in. Leave no stone unturned (or couch pillow un-flipped), including checking both sides of the mattresses, and assessing the stability of any tables or desks. Make sure to note any damages with the landlord before moving in so you’re not liable upon vacating. Also—take care not to accidentally take the original apartment furniture with you when you leave: it might feel like it’s been your couch forever, but it actually never was and still isn’t. Sorry! If it’s an unfurnished apartment, make sure you don’t leave behind any furniture. It might be tempting to conveniently ‘forget’ the ugly vase your aunt got you for your birthday, but your landlord could actually deduct removal costs from your security deposit if you do.

Clear your bills

When you move out of an apartment in Dubai, it’s your responsibility to let DEWA and Etisalat/Du know you’re leaving—that way, they can know when to send your final bills, and when to switch off the water, lights, and internet. You might be wondering what this has to do with your security deposit—but provider bills are left on the property as debt, so you could lose out on your return! Get that sorted out as efficiently as you can to avoid any unnecessary charges.

Not as daunting now that you know all the details, right? Ready to move? Download Urban on iOS and Android and find your new home.