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What is a Security Deposit? (Landlords)

Definition– a security deposit is a deposit of money to the landlord to ensure that rent will be paid and other responsibilities of the lease are performed (e.g., paying for damage caused by the tenant). A security deposit must be returned to the tenant within a fixed time after the termination of the tenancy. However, unpaid rent and any necessary repair over normal wear and tear, can be deducted from the security deposit before it is returned to the former tenant.

Security Deposit’s in Simple Terms

A security deposit is the amount of money a tenant must pay to cover any potential damage, other than normal wear and tear, that occurs on a property while the tenant is in possession. If any amount of the security deposit is remaining after covering any nonpayment of rent or for damage to the property, it must be returned to the former tenant.

Example

Theresa rents an apartment from Luke for $1,000 a month with a $1,500 security deposit. When the lease ends, Theresa leaves the apartment, but did not pay for the last month of rent. Additionally, when she left, there were huge holes in the walls that had not existed when Theresa took over the apartment. To fix the walls cost Luke $250. Luke would be able to take $1,250 from the security deposit that Theresa paid, in order to cover the owed rent, and to fix the damage caused by Theresa. Theresa would then be entailed a return of $250 of her security deposit.

Be Sure to check out our LANDLORDS GUIDE TO SECURITY DEPOSITS here!

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