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A Property Owner's Guide to Rental Leasing and Security Deposits

A Property Owner's Guide to Rental Leasing and Security Deposits

The average amount people pay for a rental in Florida is around $1,238 per month. However, depending on their size, condition, and location, you might charge more or less for your properties.

Rental property owners have many duties and responsibilities with their properties, including rental leasing, contracts, and security deposits.

As a result, many owners turn to property management firms for help with these things. For example, do you have questions about security deposits, including how much you should charge?

You're not alone if you wonder about these things. Fortunately, this guide can help you learn more about security deposits with Florida rentals.

Importance of Security Deposits With Rental Leasing

Collecting security deposits is equally as important as performing screenings on your tenants and guests. You collect a security deposit on top of the rental fees you charge for the monthly rent. 

Collecting a deposit is important for several reasons. First, it ensures you select a good tenant. In other words, you can weed out bad tenants by charging higher rates.

Secondly, collecting security deposits protects you. If a tenant doesn't pay their rent or damages your property, you'll have some money to keep. 

How to Determine the Amount

One challenging part of security deposits is determining how much to charge. You can charge more when there is a higher demand for rental properties, but you can't charge too much.

Many property management companies base the amount on the rental amount for the unit. They might charge a security deposit equal to the monthly rent or double. 

For example, you could ask for a $1,000 security deposit if the monthly rent for that unit is $1,000 monthly. However, you could charge more. For example, you could charge $2,000 for the deposit. 

Extra Deposit for Pets

You might also charge an extra rental security deposit for tenants with pets. However, you'll need to decide if you'll allow pets first. 

If you decide to allow pets, you can create rules for the security deposits for tenants with pets. For example, you could charge your standard deposit plus an extra deposit, and you can determine how much extra to charge. 

Keeping the Deposit

As a rental property owner, you'll have rights when it comes to keeping a tenant's security deposit. However, you'll also have laws to follow.

Every state has laws relating to how landlords handle returning or keeping security deposits, and you might need to familiarize yourself with Florida's security deposit laws

For example, you must refund a tenant's deposit within a specific timeframe if they're entitled to it. If you keep the deposit, you must write a note to show why you kept it. 

Seek Help for Your Rental Properties

Rental leasing involves many steps, activities, and responsibilities, including determining the correct security deposit amounts. If you're struggling with any of your duties, you can hire a company for help.  

Do you own rental properties in the Bradenton area and need help? Contact us at Gulf Coast Property Management to learn how we can help.