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Property Management Blog

Processing Security Deposits - Owners

Hi, my name is Tiea Vincent and I'm the broker and owner of Roundtable Property Management. Today we're gonna talk about the process of the security deposit and what you can and cannot charge your tenants for at the time of the move out. A common charge it made out is going to be the locksmith charge or the replacement of keys. At Roundtable we put in our contracts with our tenants that we they are responsible for the re-keying of the property at the time to move out. So we automatically have a locksmith charge built in, but you may not have that and that may not be in your agreement. But you can charge if they don't turn in the garage remote, or if they don't turn in mailbox keys or pool FOBs or gate clickers, things like that. 

Another common charge is both carpet cleaning and general cleaning of the home. The tenants are responsible for returning the home to you in the same or better condition than when they got it. So if you had the carpets cleaned or the home professionally cleaned prior to move in, you would then charge them to have those things done as well. 

Miscellaneous items around the home include things like burned out light bulbs, dirty AC filters, smoke alarm batteries or batteries to fan remotes. These are all things that can be charged back to the tenant. 

One of the most common things that owners ask me about are charging the tenants for replacement of carpet or completely repainting the home. We're not talking about touch up painting or carpet cleaning, but the tenants moved out and the carpet is done and you need to replace it or the painting is just ruined and you need to repaint. What can you charge your tenants? I know most owners want to say, well, I'm gonna charge the full amount, but in most scenarios, if the carpet wasn't brand new and the tenants moved in, you can't charge them the full replacement cost. 

In property management the average life expectancy of carpet in a rental is about 10 years and the average life of paint in a rental is about five years. So if your tenant moved in two years ago and the paint was a year old then and they're moving out now, you've got about 60 percent of the life that was already used up. So if you repaint the entire home, you can only charge the tenant about 40 percent of the bill. Same thing goes with the carpet. If the carpet was 5 years old when the tenant moved in, it's a year later and they're moving out. 60 percent of the life is gone. You can only charge the tenant about 40 percent of the cost of the replacement of the carpet. If you have any questions about items that you're considering charging your tenants, please feel free to give me a call and we'll go over your options. 

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