MISSOULA- It's that time of year again, and as the University of Montana springs back to life after a summer break, so do students looking for housing.

Whether a landlord or renter, nobody wants to spend more money than they have too. But, many renters don't take the necessary steps or find the necessary help to make sure they receive their security deposits back.

"A lot of what we do at the renter center is actually just giving student the first step to asserting their rights as renters," ASUM Off Campus Renter Center Director Beki Hartmann explained. "Most of the grievances that we hear at the renter center are regarding deposits."

Students moving in probably don't want to start thinking about moving out, but there are some simple preparations can save you a lot of money in the future.

"I always tell students when they're signing onto a lease to make sure to read the entire lease. To fees they are signing onto and consider the amount of deposit they are paying, Hartmann advised. "Pay attention to every scratch, nick and ding on every wall and crevice of their apartment."

Renters should also make sure to leave a paper trail throughout the lease according to Hartmann.

"I always suggest students keep a plastic folder with all of their lease[s], their conditions of premises report. They [should] have copies of any receipts they have received for rent they've paid and their deposit. A lot of issues can arise from not keeping proper documentation."

The bottom line is that whether you are new to renting or not, it's always important to know your rights as well as the terms of your lease.

If you are a student or a parent of a student, ASUM's Renter Center can help get you on the right track for getting your security deposit back at the end of your lease.

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