Security Deposit Information, Landlord/Tenant Information

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What can the Security Deposit be Used for?

A Security Deposits (called "damage", "cleaning", and "pet" deposits) is any advance deposit of money used to secure the performance of the leader. Security Deposits may be used for several purposes............

  • to reserve the premises before a tenant takes occupancy;
  • to cover the unpaid portion of rent if the tenant abandons the residence;
  • to compensate for unpaid utility bills
  • cleaning required to restore the rental to the condition it was in when the tenant moved in
  • cleaning services, for example, a professional rug shampoo, agreed to under the lease
  • to pay for damages beyond "normal wear and tear"; (Normal wear and tear is defined as, "deterioration which occurs based upon the use for which the rental unit is intended without negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises or equipment by the tenant or his/her guests") [ see our depreciation schedule ]
  • any other breach of the lease causing financial damage to the landlord

When is a Tenant Entitled to a Full Return of His/Her Deposit?

If the tenant has given proper notice (proper notice is the time specified in the lease. If no time is specified, notice should be given within the time specified by the law) and has left no financial obligations to the landlord, and if the dwelling is left in the same condition as when the tenant moved in, minus "normal wear and tear", the tenant is entitled to a full return of the security deposit within 30 days (unless she/he contractually agrees to 60 days in a written lease) of vacating the premises (tenant should leave a forwarding address).

Sample Letter #1 - For Renters who did receive a written statement within 30 or 60 days, but who do not agree with claims for damages

Sample Letter #2 - For Renters who did not receive a written statement within 30 or 60 days of moving out


For more information, please contact Susan Spaulding, Community Relations Specialist.

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