Jason Cohen Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Real Estate Market

A Guide to Tenants and Security Deposits

A Guide to Tenants and Security Deposits

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.

How to Become a Real Estate Broker

How to Become a Real Estate Broker

Being a real estate broker can be an excellent career choice, but it does require a lot of work and dedication. It is essentially an investment in yourself. A real estate broker’s annual median salary is $45,610, but this can vary significantly based on location, number of agents, and overall success rate. As of 2014, there were approximately 421,000 jobs.


Depending on the state a person is living in, they must first work as a real estate sales agent for one to three years before they can apply to be a real estate broker. The other requirements include: being 18 or 19 (depending on state requirements); having legal US residency, and completing education requirements.

A real estate broker can work for a designated broker as an associate broker, or they can open and operate their own brokerage. A prospective broker must complete an educational course or class that has been approved by their state. It can take several weeks or months to complete. They’ll learn about various topics, including finance, agency law, real estate law, property management, contracts and more. After the class or course is complete, a prospective broker will take their state’s broker licensing examination. In some states, to be eligible for licensing, a prospective broker may need to pass a criminal background check.

How to Pass the Real Estate Broker Licensing Exam

It should be a prospective broker’s goal to pass the exam on their first attempt. The broker’s exam will be longer than the agent exam, so it’s important to be prepared. In some states, the broker exam can take five hours to complete.

The best way to prepare for the exam is to make flashcards and use an exam preparation aid. People who don’t pass the exam can usually get their money back for the exam preparation aid they purchased.

The Cost to Become a Broker

One of the requirements to become a broker is to pay educational costs, exam fees and application fees. Depending on the state a prospective broker resides, they’ll have to pay between $300 to $2,000 for educational costs and approximately $150 to $200 for the application and exam fees. Opening and operating a brokerage can cost between $500 and $50,000 for office space, agents, marketing, equipment and more.

In Conclusion

Passing the state’s exam and becoming licensed is the first step to becoming a real estate broker. Being successful in their career requires other skills. A broker should partner with agents, use a publicist, host open houses, have an online presence, look for leads and maintain connections with former clients.

The decision to become a broker isn’t something to do on a whim, but it can be worthwhile if you’re dedicated to making it work.

About Jason Cohen Pittsburgh

Jason Cohen is a real estate investor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He created Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, a group of real estate enthusiasts committed to helping others invest in real estate, and he has thrived in the area since 2002.

As Jason’s career has grown and flourished, so has Pittsburgh itself — transforming from an industrial “rust belt” city into a major cultural center abundant with high-end multi-family rental properties. Jason has seamlessly handled the dynamic nature of Pittsburgh and of the real estate industry in general. A research-driven professional, he consistently enables smart and profitable investments in the area, helping to transform modest properties into high-end rentals in Pittsburgh’s hottest neighborhoods.

Jason Cohen first entered the world of real estate shortly after his graduation from college. He started out by investing in distressed properties in Pennsylvania. After some experience working full-time for a real estate company, he decided to pave his own path in the industry. He has worked as an independent real estate agent and developed the Jason Cohen Pittsburgh team ever since. The team consists of highly qualified investors, property managers, leasing agents, and contractors.

Over the course of his career Jason has become highly proficient in acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, multifamily real estate investments, asset repositioning, real estate management, real estate brokerage, and new construction. He has excelled in high-level investment strategies, but is also no stranger to “ground work” when it comes to the industry. He is well-versed in each step of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh’s unique system: researching local areas and investing in properties, performing renovations to transform these properties from dilapidated eyesores into high-end units, and ultimately repositioning the properties for maximum profit in renting and selling.




Jason Cohen Pittsburgh is the group of choice for anyone who needs advice, analysis and due diligence, and general expertise in matters of investing, whether they are short-term or long-term. Jason Cohen Pittsburgh has dealt with properties in a variety of neighborhoods throughout parts of Pittsburgh, including the South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Mt. Lebanon, and Regent Square. Each and every one of these locations, paired with Jason’s overall knowledge of real estate investing, has allowed him to play a part in restoring Pittsburgh’s place as one of the most popular cities in the United States.

This blog will share news, updates, and insights regarding Pittsburgh and its real estate market from the perspective of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh. Stay tuned!