Renters Deposit Rights
Rights Related to Security Deposits
Every state will allow the landlord to legally collect a security deposit amount before they rent out an apartment to a potential tenant. Some tenants are under the impression that such requests are illegal. While security deposit requests are perfectly legal, there are several renters deposit rights that are usually abused by the landlord. This article will briefly discuss the important renters deposit rights and also explain how these rights are commonly abused by unethical landlords.
Maximum security deposit – renters deposit rights – Typically, the renters deposit rights guidelines in a state will stipulate a maximum amount of security deposit that can be charged. In most states, this amount is just one month of rent although some states will allow the security deposit amount to match the equivalent of two months of rent or even three if the apartment is in a furnished condition. Also, renters deposit rights guidelines mandate that a security deposit is always refundable while also being deductable. Some landlords try to abuse these renters deposit rights by collecting large security deposits that exceed the limits allowed by the state while some landlords will try to abuse renters deposit rights by collecting a non refundable security deposit.
Special clauses – renters deposit rights – Tenants have to understand that there might be some special renters deposit rights guidelines that apply to the area that they rent in. For example, renters in California might be subject to a unique security deposit called the water bed security deposit. Under these renters deposit rights guidelines, a landlord in California is permitted to seek half a month’s rent as additional security deposit to cover the risk caused by the tenant’s waterbed, if they intend to keep one. Also, renters deposit rights guidelines in some states will allow the landlord to collect an additional pet insurance that will also usually need to be refundable.
Refund of the security deposit – renters deposit rights – Renters deposit rights will allow a tenant to seek a refund of their security deposit within a period of a fortnight to about a month, depending on the state where the tenancy contract is being executed. If the landlord is making any deductions to the security deposit, renters deposit rights will allow the tenant to seek a written invoice of the deductions. This written invoice will need to show the list of repairs and also publish details such as materials purchase, labor cost etc. If the landlord fails to provide such a written invoice, renters deposit rights will allow the tenant to sue the landlord and take them to court to reclaim the security deposit. Renters deposit rights will also allow the tenant to sue the landlord if they feel that the deductions are not justifiable or fictional in nature.
In some states, renters deposit rights will allow the tenant to seek damages in addition to the original security deposit amount if their security deposit refund has been willfully wronged by the landlord. The damages that can be claimed in such cases will typically equal an amount that is twice the amount of the original security deposit.