Many of us have heard the term security deposit and know it has to do with renting. However, there are some rules regarding security deposits that you should be aware of. First, the purpose of security deposits is to repair the property for damage caused to the property after the tenant leaves. Now, wear and tear on a property is not to be repaired using the security deposit. This is generally the sole financial responsibility of the landlord. Second, security deposits are not advance rent and should not be used as rent. Rent is for the use of the property and security deposits are for fixing items. When the lease is finished, the landlord must return the security deposit less any amount to fix damages. Normally, the landlord must notify the tenant if the landlord will place a claim on the security deposit and the tenant has an opportunity to object to the claim. Finally, landlords, are generally required to keep the security deposits separate from rent and have it in an interest bearing account since the money technically belongs to the tenant.
However, issues arise when a tenant does not get their security deposit back or when a tenant wishes to have the landlord use the security deposit as “last month’s rent.” If you encounter or are encountering these or other issues, contact SG Law Group. We are very familiar with these situations and can provide representation in resolving these matters in the best way possible.