There are strict requirements in place when it comes to the security deposit and how landlords and Pleasanton property management companies must return it to their tenants. First, it’s very important to have a walk through with your tenant when they’re moving in and moving out. That way, you can establish the property condition when they moved in and the property condition when they moved out. It will help you determine what to charge them when you’re returning their security deposit.
When a tenant moves out of a property, you have 21 days to return their security deposit. Or, you can provide them with an itemized statement of any deductions and refunds that will be due to them. That must include invoices and reasons why you’re deducting from the security deposit.
Send the security deposit refund via certified mail so you have proof of the day that you returned the deposit. You also want to request return receipt. Then, the tenant will sign for it and you have proof they’ve received it.
As a landlord, you can only deduct from the security deposit for certain things. Those things include damages that the tenant caused, cleaning the property if they didn’t clean it to the same condition that it was when they moved in, unpaid rent, and the replacement of any personal items like extra keys you may have given them, remote controls for garages and gates or an appliance that you may have left in the property for them to use that is missing after they move out.
One thing to keep in mind as a landlord is that if for some reason you do not return the security deposit within 21 days to the tenant, you need to return 100 percent of that deposit, even if they damaged the property. If the tenant decides to take you to court over this issue and the judge feels you acted in bad faith, you can get a penalty that equals two to three times the security deposit.
It’s always good to know everything you can about security deposit refunds so you don’t find yourself in an expensive situation. If you have any questions about how to get a security deposit back to your tenant, please call us at Action 1 Property Management.