Tenants Rights Deposit – Tenancy Laws about Security Deposits
A tenants rights deposit is usually collected by a landlord as a guarantee against any damages that may be caused by the tenant during their stay at a rental property. Though the concept of a tenants rights deposit was created with a good intention to protect the rights of the landlord, many a landlord has tried to take advantage of tenants by either charging too much as a tenants rights deposit or by not refunding the security deposits at all. This article will briefly go over the laws about tenants rights deposit that is generally applicable in all of the 50 states in the U.S.
Refundable or non refundable security deposits – tenants rights deposit – There is no such thing as a non refundable tenants rights deposit. If a tenant comes across such a clause in a rental or lease agreement, they can be well assured that the landlord is trying to pull a fast one on them. All security deposits are refundable according to the tenancy law in America. A lease that includes a clause to make the security deposit non refundable is an invalid lease that will not hold good in court when the tenant sues the landlord.
Security Deposit limit – tenants rights deposit – The maximum amount of security deposit that can be charged from a tenant is usually an amount that is fixed by the tenancy law of the state in question. Most states will allow a maximum of one month’s rent to be fixed as the tenants rights deposit amount while some states will allow two or even three months of rent to be fixed as the tenants rights deposit amount. Additionally, the tenancy law in some states will allow landlords to charge a pet tenants rights deposit if the tenant is going to keep pets in the rental property. The state laws will usually limit the amount of pet tenants rights deposit as well.
Special clauses about security deposits – tenants rights deposit – In some states, the tenancy law will require the landlord to deposit the tenants rights deposit in an interest bearing bank account. The landlord will then have to disclose the information of this bank account to the tenant although they do not have to give them access to the account. Additionally, this special clause about the tenants rights deposit will require landlords to deposit the security deposit in an account that is separate from their personal or business accounts. In other words, the account might have to be held in escrow during the tenure of the lease.
Security deposit refund – tenants rights deposit – This aspect of tenancy law is by far the most important clause about security deposits. Many landlords try to take advantage of unsuspecting tenants by simply or vaguely saying that the tenants rights deposit amount was used up to pay for repairs caused by the tenant. Most tenants do not question this claim and simply forfeit their tenants rights deposit which can be a pretty sizeable amount. However, tenancy law will allow a tenant to demand a written proof of the repair expenses claimed by the landlord. A tenant also has the right to sue the landlord in court when he or she suspects that their security deposit refund has been wrongfully withheld or deducted from.