There are many rules and regulations that need to be followed by the tenant as well as the landlord too. When a tenant occupies a rental unit then he has to pay the security deposit to the landlord.
What is Security Deposit?
A security deposit is the sum of the money that a landlord takes from his tenant in addition to their first month’s rent. It is a one-time fee that is refundable.
Well, the security deposit is refundable but this also depends on the rules as per mentioned in the lease agreement. Tenants should clear their questions and doubt, Tenants FAQ. The landlord is free to decide in certain cases whether he will refund the security deposit or would keep it himself. So, here are some cases when a landlord can keep either a part of or full security amount:
Early Termination of Lease
Lease agreement itself terminated as it completes 11 months. Then you have to renew your lease agreement if the same tenants are staying. But if the tenants are terminating the lease before the decided time period then you have the rights to keep the security deposit as the penalty. But you must mention this properly in the lease agreement.
Non-Payment of Rent
If the tenant fails to pay the rent on time then in that case you are allowed to keep the portion of the security deposit to cover the amount of the rent lost.
Damage to the Property
If the tenant makes damages in your property then you are allowed to recover the damage costs from security deposit but not for the normal wear and tears. If something severe damages occurred to your property then you can keep the security deposit to recover the loss.
You simply cannot take security deposit just to clean your rental property until your next tenant to move in and severe damages have occurred on your property then you are allowed to take the portion of the security deposit for cleaning costs.
These are the reasons when a landlord can keep the security deposit a tenant has paid. But still, there are some laws that a landlord must follow while keeping the security deposit. These laws are usually differs from state to state laws.