A security deposit is outlined to safeguard a landowner from having to go behind an occupant to collect the pecuniary damages after the inhabitant’s moves out. It is not, however, a curb on an occupant’s responsibility.

When the tenants move out of the property, they have the right to get back their deposits, with any interest unpaid, as long as:

  • There is no harm far off than the normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear is referred to as the destruction of a property over a period of time
  • The rental property has been maintained neatly
  • No other fees are owing.

If the damage caused by the tenants to the property is more than the security deposit and the landowner can illustrate that the equitable cost of the repairs was more, then the tenants owe that money.

In case the tenants failed to settle the obligations with the landlord, he could file a case in small claims court. If the occupants choose to avoid the case, he will eventually get a default discernment against the tenants and can collect on it by imposing your assets or garnishing the wages.

If the occupant does not have an objection against the charges made by the landlord as it only a reasonable amount of fees that are being charged from the tenant, then the tenant had to send the landlord a check immediately.

The security amount cannot be more than a single month’s rent at the time of tenancy. It also cannot be expanded as the rent rises. The security deposit records are required to be kept by the landlord for at least 3 years after the tenancy ends.

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Can a landlord charge more than the deposit?

A security deposit is the amount of money a landowner takes from the occupant other than the rent’s advance payment. The security amount safeguards the landlord from any loss if the tenant breaks or violates the terms of the rental agreement. This amount is used to replace the damages caused by the tenants to the property, cleaning, and replacement of the key or back rent.

It should be noted that if one pays as a part of a security deposit an amount that was allotted in the rental agreement as to the rent of the last month, then that money may be used as the last month’s rent. On the other hand, the security amount cannot be used as the rent unless the landowner agrees to do it.

There are some restrictions on the amount of the security deposit:

  • The security deposit for a residential property that does not have furniture, the amount may be equal to two times the rent.
  • If the residential property is fully furnished then the landlord can have the security deposit that may be equal to three times the rent of the property.
  • There is no limitation on the amount of security deposit for the rental of a property for commercial purposes.

A landowner on the other hand should return the security deposit to the tenant with accounting for any sort of discounting kept back from the returning of the deposit amount within a time period of twenty-one days from the date the occupant vacates the place. Similarly, the inhabitant should provide the landlord with a valid address to which the check for the return of the deposit is to be sent.

What can my landlord deduct from my deposit?

In most jurisdictions, the security deposit safeguards the landowner from any loss of money due to the damages caused by the occupants. It also allows the landowner to deduct the money from the security deposit for any sort of destruction of the properties or excessive dirtiness but has no right to take money for the damages caused by the normal wear and tear of the property.

Often the security deposit is called a damage deposit and is generally some amount of money that the landowner can hold and use it to repair in case of any sort of damage caused by the tenants to the condition it was in when the tenants moved in for the first time.

what can and cannot be deducted by the landlord from the security deposit can be clarified by quoting some of the examples of the items that the landlord can deduct from the security deposit, it refers to that the damage should be free from the normal wear and tear:

  • Huge holes in the walls due to picture hangers
  • Broken tiles or the installation in bathrooms
  • Ceased lavatory due to misuse
  • Smashed palisade
  • Detach the varnish put up by the occupant
  • Tears, trench or burn marks in carats or curtains
  • Gadgets are broken due to carelessness
  • Dirt in the oven or on the stove by burners
  • Blocked drains due to misuse
  • Damaged window blinds
  • To do away with the fleas and pests
  • Excessive dirtiness in the bathroom and the properties in the bathroom

There is a list of few things that are considered to be normal wear and tear and according to the security deposit laws that the landlord cannot deduct from the security deposit. It includes dim in the paintings or the wallpapers due to sunlight, damaged plumbing due to ordinary use, unclean blinds and curtains, etc.

It should be noted that the landlord sells the property while the occupant still lives there, then the landlord is responsible to transfer the security amount to the new owner of the property and that the new owner is responsible to refund all of the amount or the partial amount that the occupant is entitled to when the occupant moves out.

If in case that the previous owner fails to transfer the security amount to the new owner, then the tenant can approach the prior owner for the refund of the security deposit that the occupant is entitled to receive. Thus it is to be stated that the landlord is entitled to claim more than the deposit.