Numerous renters struggle to obtain their security deposit once their lease agreement ends. A landlord will typically return a remainder with a lengthy, itemized report explaining how the cash was spent.
As a tenant, the itemized list can be your enemy if you don’t know what the security deposit covers. However, knowing what the proprietor can and can’t use the deposit for can prevent you from being swindled. Here’s a list of ways in which your landlord can nibble at your deposit.
1. Nonpayment of Rent
Most states will permit the landlord to retain a portion of or all the security deposit when you don’t pay your rent. Beware that nonpayment of rent is a violation of the lease.
When you don’t meet your contractual obligation to pay your monthly rent, the landlord is typically permitted to keep a segment of the security deposit necessary to cover the lost rent.
Numerous proprietors repaint a rental’s interior to attract new tenants. It’s routine and typically conducted every couple of years, so the landlord can’t subtract the costs of purchasing paint or hiring a painter from the security deposit. However, if you painted the walls with some hideous shade or drew art, the repainting cost is deductible.
The same applies if repainting becomes necessary because you or your guests smoked in the dwelling, resulting in wall stains. Similarly, if you painted without permission, the landlord will be able to deduct the cost of supplies and a painter to restore the wall to its initial color compared to when you moved in.
3. Elimination of Abandoned Items
If you leave things behind at a rental and they’re considered abandoned, then the landlord can charge the disposal of the items against your deposit. If the landlord is required to store items for you, the proprietor may deduct the storage charges from your deposit as well.
4. Property Damage
If you or your guests cause excess property damage, the landlord can use the security deposit toward replacement or repair. Some damage is rather obvious, for instance big holes in the floor or wall or broken fixtures.
Other conditions that may not be instantly apparent are also deductible from the deposit. They include missing or broken window blinds, broken appliances due to negligence, and missing smoke detectors.
5. Cleaning Costs
Normally, the landlord can’t use the security deposit to clean the property because of ordinary wear and tear. Bear in mind that the landlord should clean the rental before the next renter moves in.
However, the landlord may be able to retain the deposit if the required cleaning is excessive. For instance, if you left trash all over the unit, food in the refrigerator, and several personal belongings throughout the unit, the proprietor may use a portion of the deposit to cover the expenses.
At times renters leave behind an insect infestation, such as ticks together with their belongings. When this happens, the property owner can deduct the cost of any fumigation or other extermination charges from the deposit.
Renters often misunderstand the rules for deducting and handling security deposit. Fortunately, this guide will reveal instances in which the landlord can deduct your security deposit.
For more information on the ways in which your landlord can nibble away at your security deposit, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a comment.