Security deposit; is it necessary?

by Cierylene Piernes

Posted on 2019-05-07 09:28:58


Let's define first, what is a security deposit?

A security deposit is a sum of money that tenant pays a landlord before moving into a rental property. This gives security to the landlord against the tenant damaging his rental property, non-compliance to lease agreement and non-payment of rent. Sometimes they ask for pet security deposits too. For protection of the property against pet-caused damages.

The amount is usually based on the monthly rent and is often equivalent to one or two months of rent. This may also be based partially on an applicant's credit score.

A landlord usually holds the security deposit in a bank account, and in most ideal circumstances keeping it in a bank account other than the business account. If it is deposited in an interest-bearing bank account, it depends on the state law if the interest bore should go to the tenant or to the landlord.

Now since security deposit is a way of security for the landlord, if you as a tenant does not maintain the lease agreement, leaves unpaid rent and charges and leaves damages on the properties behind, your landlord may deduct reasonable charges from your security deposit.

Remember, a security deposit is usually required to protect your landlord’s money and property. If you maintain the terms of your lease and do not leave any damages, you should be able to get your deposit back. Security deposits are just a necessary evil in rental markets. Be informed before giving any landlord a security deposit.


Find security deposit law guides, state by state in the following link. It contains the most valuable and most comprehensive summary of laws and guides in relation to security deposit for all the states in the USA and the District of Columbia.