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Limit disputes about the security deposit's deductions and return.
Discover best practices to consider during the process of both obtaining and returning a security deposit.
Learn how to understand the terms of your letter.
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Of the many responsibilities that you have as a landlord under the law, one of the most important is collecting and returning security deposits. A security deposit is a payment required by landlords from tenants to cover the cost of repairing damage to rented property. These deposits help ensure that rental units are left in good condition and that you receive all payments you're owed before a tenant's departure. It should be noted that damage usually does not include normal wear and tear.
In a case where a tenant does in fact damage property or still owe rent after moving out, you can use the security deposit to cover those expenses. However, you cannot simply keep the deposit, or a portion of the deposit, without informing the tenant. You must send a letter to the tenant explaining what deductions were taken from their deposit, and what the remaining balance is, if any. LegalZoom offers a downloadable Landlord's Letter Returning Security Deposit you can begin using today to draft a customized correspondence to your tenants.
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