Toll Free (866) 885-9785

Residential Leases Part 4: Security Deposits

The security deposit is a familiar concept to anyone who has been a renter. Tenants pay the landlord a specific amount of money, typically one month’s rent or more. This is to be held by the landlord and applied to any amounts due at move-out. If the tenant has paid the rent and taken care of the property, the deposit should be fully refunded. A deposit may not be fully refunded for the following common reasons: damage to the property, unpaid rent or utilities, unpaid fees (such as fees for late rent), and excessive cleaning fees.

Security Deposit for Renters

Before giving landlords money for a security deposit, it is important to have a basic understanding of renter rights. Many states limit the amount of money a landlord can take for a security deposit. If the amount required seems high, check your state’s security deposit laws to see if that state puts a cap on the amount landlords can request. If your state has no maximum deposit amount, bring up any concerns before signing the lease and paying the deposit. Landlords may be willing to negotiate if you are a desirable tenant.

Paying Security Deposits

When paying the deposit, ask the landlord for a receipt. This way the deposit can be traced if the landlord doesn’t keep good records. Make sure the deposit amount is clearly stated in the lease agreement. Ask the landlord where the deposit money will be kept. Some states require landlords to keep the money in an account that is specifically set up for holding deposits. Some states even require deposits to be held in an interest-bearing account, and all interest earned be given to the tenant after move-out.

Most states have a deadline of 30 days or less following move-out to refund the security deposit. Before moving out, make sure the landlord has your forwarding address, phone number or email so you can receive the deposit refund. Contact the landlord if the refund isn’t received in a timely manner. Any deductions from the deposit should be stated on an itemized list, provided by the landlord.

Protect Yourself

Smart renters take steps to ensure the security deposit will be refunded. Completing a walkthrough before renting is very important. A walkthrough helps protect renters against false claims against the security deposit. Renters should keep a record of pre-existing damages. Take photos of the condition of the property at move-in and move-out. Read Part 1: The Walkthrough.

If you don’t receive a full deposit refund, or a partial refund, check that the landlord has given you the documentation required by the laws of your state to justify the withholding. The laws of each state entitle renters to at least some documentation of deductions from the security deposit. If renters don’t agree with the withholding, or the landlord doesn’t provide the required documentation, contact the landlord to demand that he comply with the law. When the deposit is wrongfully held, certain states allow for punitive damages. If your landlord does not cooperate, consult a lawyer who is familiar with the landlord and tenant laws in your state.

Stay tuned for Residential Lease Part 5: Utilities by subscribing to Discover!

 

Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  • MyALE

    Claims Portal

    • Personalize a dashboard
    • Manage in real-time
    • Access on all devices
    • Request or extend temporary housing with one click

    Learn More


  • Join Our Facebook Fan Page Check Us Out On Instagram Follow Us On Google+ Follow Us On LinkedIn Follow Us On Twitter View Our YouTube

  • Weather Safety



  • Instagram
    • Celebrating a combined 412 YEARS at ALE Solutions!! httpswwwfacebookcomalesolutionsposts10157649630583695
      Celebrating a combined 412 YEARS at ALE Solutions!! https://www.facebook.com/alesolutions/posts/10157649630583695
    • So grateful that ALE can play a small part of
      So grateful that ALE can play a small part of Brian’s W15H weekend.
    • Remembering 911
      Remembering 9/11.
    • When a disaster strikes it can make communication nearly impossible
      When a disaster strikes, it can make communication nearly impossible. Instead of panicking, stay calm and remember these tips to help maintain communication during and
    • HappyFirstDayofFall! Before the cool temperatures hit make sure your home
      Happy  #FirstDayofFall ! Before the cool temperatures hit, make sure your home is ready for the season shift with these Fall Home Maintenance Tips on the ALE
    • So grateful that ALE can play a small part in
      So grateful that ALE can play a small part in making a difference in Gavin’s life! Thank you Julie DuJardin for being a great ambassador
    • Visit us Wednesday October 16th at the Northern Illinois University
      Visit us Wednesday, October 16th at the Northern Illinois University All-Majors Internship and Job Fair! Explore our open positions today! https://www.alesolutions.com/careers
    • ALE Solutions is thrilled to be a Big Hearts of
      ALE Solutions is thrilled to be a Big Hearts of Fox Valley 2019 Christmas Sponsor in efforts to brighten the lives of underprivileged children in
Get fresh, free content delivered monthly »
About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Legal / Privacy  |  Sitemap
PLRB