When a tenant enters into an agreement to rent a home from a landlord, the landlord could ask that a security deposit is made to cover any damages that are done to the home while the tenant is living there. If the home is left in the same condition that it was in when the tenant moved in, then the deposit is usually given back to the tenant.
There are several laws that protect the landlord when it pertains to the deposit, as well as laws that protect the tenant, depending on the circumstances involved, the condition of the home and the rental agreement. Most tenants ask that the deposit is equal to at least one month’s rent.
The landlord needs to make clear notes about the condition of the home before a tenant moves into the property. If there is anything left to the responsibility of the tenant to get fixed, then the tenant needs to be made aware of this information before any paperwork is signed.
The tenant should also be made aware of any damage or issues with the property before moving in so that the tenant is not held responsible for these issues after moving out. If the tenant notices anything about the property, then a notice should be given to the landlord in writing stating that the issue was there beforehand. The most efficient way to handle this entire process is by having a checklist for each room that notes any damages, signed by both the tenant and the landlord.
Returning the Deposit
A security deposit can be used to pay for repairs or damages that aren’t considered the normal wear and tear of living in a home. It can also be used to clean the property if it’s left in a condition that is less than appealing or in a condition that is not as it was when the tenant took ownership. If the tenant leaves the home before the lease has expired or if the tenant is asked to leave the home, then the deposit can be used for the last month’s rent.
Both the tenant and the landlord need to walk through the property together so that each party knows of the condition of the home before the tenant moves out. This will allow for time to discuss any issues that need to be addressed and that could result in the entire deposit not being given back to the tenant when moving.
Assuming there is no damage and the deposit isn’t needed to cover last month’s rent, the tenant should receive their full security deposit refund in a timely manner.