ALL ABOUT.. SECURITY DEPOSITS!

What is it? -It’s the money a tenant pays to the landlord that is held for them until they move out as a sort of “financial guarantee.” It’s as though the tenant is saying

“I am going to care for your rental home and give it back in good condition … and if I DON”T you can use my deposit to make it right again!”

Who pays it? – Usually the tenant but someone else can pay it for them (…a friend, family member, government assistance agency, church…)

When is the deposit paid? – Typically 1/2 of it is paid by the tenant when they sign their rental contract or lease and the remaining 1/2 when they move in.

How is the deposit usually paid? – It’s usually paid in the form of CASHIERS CHECKS or MONEY ORDERS, all payable to the landlord.

Where does it go? – Professional property managers are required to put all security deposits into a TRUST ACCOUNT separate from all other office accounts. It is considered the tenant’s money, held “in trust” for them until they vacate, then used and refunded according to the terms of the rental agreement.

How much deposit is required? – Deposit amounts required can vary from landlord to landlord. There is no set amount, but it is usually at least equal to 1 month’s rent amount.

How much deposit does Red Roof Rentals require? – Company policy requires that for a well qualified tenant the minimum deposit is calculated by taking the rent, rounding it UP to the next 100’s and ADDING $300.

Example: If the rent is $1,595 then the required minimum deposit will be $1,900.

The required deposit can be higher if the tenant has certain minor and explainable “problems” on their otherwise good application, such as:

  • a. tenant is living with relatives and has no valid rental reference;
  • b. tenant just moved here and has money saved but no job yet;
  • c. tenant ; is marginally qualified based on NET monthly income;
  • d. tenant lacks at least 1 year of continuous employment.

Sometimes, in cases like these, we might increase in the deposit to offset the weaknesses presented by these “problems” in the application of an otherwise approvable tenant..

Also, if the tenant has a pet that meets all of our pet criteria andf the owner will allow pets, then the deposit will be increased by anywhere from $300-$500, depending on the weight of the animal.

What is the deposit used for? – The rental agreement dictates what the deposit is to be used for AND how it can be refunded to the tenant after they vacate. Generally, it is used to return the property the same condition it was in when the tenant first moved in: to pay for tenant caused damages, trash hauling, yard maintenance, unpaid utility bills, carpet cleaning, flea spraying if needed, etc.

After I move out, when do I get my deposit money back? – If you are entitled to a refund after any charges against the deposit are deducted, Washington state law says that the property manager must give you an accounting of all charges against the deposit AND any refund you are entitled to within 21 days of you moving out.

Careful handling of a tenant’s security deposit by a property manager is important in order to maintain trust and good will between them. Many tenants pay security deposits of between $1,500 and $3,000 in order to rent a property, so naturally they expect wise and careful handling of their hard earned money.

At Red Roof Rentals we take very seriously our position of TRUST in the handling of tenant security deposits as well as the valuable homes that rental owners entrust us to manage for them.

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