Owners often have a lot of questions about security deposits, such as where do they go and can you use them during the course of a tenancy to pay for maintenance that is a result from tenant damage. We’re talking about security deposits today from an owner’s perspective.
Collecting and Holding the Security Deposit
After we screen a tenant, move them in, and sign a lease, we hold the tenant’s security deposit as your property management company. There are a number of reasons why. Most importantly, there are state statutes that govern how you hold it and what you do with it. We have a trust fund, and we hold it on your behalf. We never touch it, and it stays in that account until the tenant vacates.
Property Management Mesa: Returning the Deposit
After tenant leaves, we have 14 days in Arizona to refund the deposit or give the tenants an assessment of charges. There are two things we look for during move out inspections: damage and wear and tear. Damage can be large holes in the walls, torn carpet, and problems with cleanliness. Tenants are responsible for the damage. Owners are responsible for regular wear and tear. So, what happens if the carpets aren’t clean? We can use the deposit to get that cleaning done. If there’s a hole in the wall, we can use the deposit to patch it up.
Questionable Cases of Damage vs. Wear and Tear
Owners wonder what to do if one wall has lots of nail holes but painting just that one wall looks horrible, and the whole house needs to be painted. Can you charge the tenant for that? If there’s a stain on the carpet, can you charge the tenant to replace the whole carpet even if it’s a year old? This is where reasonable thinking and good decision making come into play. Usually, you will not win in court if you try to charge a tenant for an entire carpet replacement or the painting of a whole home. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to security deposits and how to collect them, hold them, and return them. If you have questions about security deposits or anything pertaining to Mesa property management, please contact us at East Valley Property Management.