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Understanding security deposits

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2022 | Landlord/Tenant Concerns |

There are important requirements associated with security deposits that landlords and tenants should both be familiar with. To ensure that all the parties are protected, it is essential to be familiar with how security deposits work.

Requirements associated with security deposits

There are certain limits on the amount of the security deposit which is based on the amount of the rent that is being charged for the property. There are also certain timelines associated with when a security deposit must be returned to the tenant after they have moved out. The landlord has 21 days to return the tenant’s security deposit in full of provide a written letter describing why all or a part of the deposit is being kept by the landlord.

If the landlord is withholding any part of the security deposit, they must provide an itemized list of deductions and return any remaining amount of the security deposit to the tenant. Copies of receipts must also be provided to the tenant for any repairs that were performed for which security deposit funds were deducted that were $126 or less. If the repairs cannot be completed with 21 days, the landlord can deduct a good faith estimate for the amount of repairs that are anticipated and then must provide copies of receipts to the tenant for the repairs within 14 days of them being completed.

Costs that can be deducted by the landlord from a security deposit include costs for repairs related to any damages to the property caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests which does not include ordinary wear and tear; cost for cleaning the unit so that it is as clean as when the tenant moved in; and for any unpaid rent. A security deposit is an important part of a lease which why landlords and tenants should be familiar with the regulations concerning them and how residential real estate law can help them with any concerns they may have regarding a security deposit.