Reasons to use a security deposit
After a tenant moves out, the landlord may use all or part of the security deposit for the following reasons:
- Unpaid rent (unless validly withheld or deducted by the tenant) and, if applicable, water charges
- Unpaid increase in real estate taxes (only applicable if the lease contains a valid tax escalation clause)
- The cost of repair of damages caused by the tenant, other occupants, or their guests (does not include pre existing damage or routine painting, carpet shampooing, etc. that is performed because of normal “wear and tear.”)
Providing records of repair
If a landlord retains any portion of a tenant’s security deposit, the landlord must:
- Provide the tenant a detailed, itemized list of the estimated or actual cost of repair of damage to the property
- Swear to the damage by signing the list
- Provide the tenant with all written estimates, bills, receipts, etc. related to the repair of the damage
- Provide the list and supporting documents to the tenant within the same 30-day period of time the balance of the security deposit, if any, is due to the tenant after moving out or the end of the lease
If the landlord fails to provide the list and supporting documents to the tenant, they will lose the right to keep any portion of the security deposit.
In addition to maintaining all records related to collecting and holding any security deposits, landlords who collect security deposits must also keep detailed records about the cost of repairs that any portion of a tenant’s security deposit was kept for, including all bills, receipts, and invoices. Security deposit records must be kept by the landlord for 2 years after the end of every tenancy. Tenants and prospective tenants have a right to inspect these records.
|Last updated:||August 23, 2018|