Security Deposit FAQ

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Q. How much can I require for rental property unit’s security deposit?

A. Usually, you can take an amount equal to the one month rent of the rental property, although this can vary in a lot of things. For unfurnished rental properties, you can charge not more than twice the monthly rent as security deposit. For fully furnished rental units however, you can require up to three times the amount of the unit. This is of course, 100% refundable.

Q. What charges can I deduct from the security deposit?

A. You can charge many items from your tenant’s security deposit, from cleaning, unpaid rent and repairs for damages on the rental property unit outside normal wear and tear. In some states across the country, the law allows landlords to deduct security deposit to restore personal properties, such as keys.

Tenants are obliged to leave the rental property unit clean as when they first arrived and moved in. If the rental property is already dirty when they moved in, then you can’t deduct cleaning from their security deposit.

Large holes on the walls, carpet stains, broken doors and windows, and excessive build up of dirt and filth is considered as “damage”, and are usually caused by accidents and lack of care, unreasonable use and accident from the tenant. And you can deduct security deposit from that.

You can’t deduct the cost of repairing already-defective materials and furnishings prior to the tenancy.