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Rental Security Deposits: A Quick Guide for Landlords

Rental Security Deposits: A Quick Guide for Landlords

Did you know that the Florida Senate was recently considering a bill that would change security deposit laws? The bill would have allowed landlords to charge renters a monthly fee instead of a security deposit.

The bill didn’t end up becoming law. However, this example shows how important is to understand laws about rental security deposits. 

Landlords almost always ask renters to provide security deposits. That way, the landlord has funds to fall back on in case the renter damages the property. 

If you’re new to being a landlord, you may not understand the importance of security deposits. Check out the article below to learn more about some of the benefits of security deposits. 

Learn About the Laws Surrounding Security Deposits

Landlords in Florida should get familiar with Florida’s laws regarding security deposits. The state of Florida does not have a limit on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit.

Individual cities or counties may have certain laws relating to how much landlords can charge for a security deposit, however. One of the best tips for landlords is to pay close attention to local laws regarding security deposit amounts.

Landlords should also be aware that Florida has rules about when to return the security deposit to the tenant. State law says the landlord has within 15-60 days to return the deposit at the end of the lease.

Of course, you may be able to take some of the funds from the security deposit if your tenant has damaged the property at all. 

Add Security Deposit Information to Your Lease Agreement

Your lease agreements should always include every detail about how much tenants will have to pay.

If you’re not familiar with how to create a lease agreement, you may hire a property management company to help you create this important legal document.

Add the security deposit amount to the lease agreement and explicitly state the terms under which the tenant will receive the full security deposit amount back. 

Inspect the Property After the Tenant Moves Out

Requiring a security deposit is a great way for landlords to protect themselves against bad tenants. When a tenant moves out, perform a walk-through of the property to check for any damage.

If you find damage, you can use the tenant’s security deposit to repair it. You’re going to want to repair any major damage before another tenant moves into your property.

It may also be smart to have new tenants check for any existing damage when they move into your property. Tracking this information will help you and your tenants avoid disputes over security deposits. 

Your Guide to Rental Security Deposits

Learning about rental security deposits is an important step toward becoming a successful landlord. You can avoid a lot of financial headaches by requiring a large security deposit upfront.

Are you interested in hiring a property management company to help you manage your security deposits? If so, contact the property management experts at Gulf Coast Property Management.