Many tenants struggle to get their entire security deposit (a.k.a damage deposit) back when their rental or lease agreement ends. Some renters think that sweeping a broom across the floor before heading out is enough, and then are shocked when they only get a sliver of their security deposit returned. A landlord will return a security deposit remainder with a long, itemized Rental Inspection Report detailing how the money was spent.
A security deposit is a fixed sum of money, specified in your Rental Agreement, that is held by the landlord until the end of the lease in case there are any damages to the property. Many states have different limits for how much a security deposit can be, and some states don’t have a cap on the limits at all. Typically, the amount is one month’s rent, but the limit can be anywhere between one and three-and-a-half months’ rent.
Some rental agreements will contain stipulations for what the security deposit can be spent on, but most landlords will just put in a general statement about how it covers damages “other than normal wear and tear.”
Release Time: 2020-04-17 10:21:10
The general rule is that a landlord can only use your damage deposit to cover actual damages to the property. As long as you leave your unit in the same condition as when you moved in (or as close as humanly possible), you should get your entire deposit back.
Some renters want to use the security deposit as their last month’s rent, but this is usually ill-advised. In many states, the use of the security deposit as last month’s rent is prohibited, and even if your landlord agrees to it, you’ll still be on the hook for any damages left over.