Security Deposit

6 Replies

Hello all,

Just have a quick question regarding a security deposit for my property. I had a lease set up as a probationary period that was split up into two 6 months leases. One of the 5 tenants is not renewing the 2nd leg of the lease, since she is having personal/health issue due to age and moving out. She wants me to send her a check for "her portion" (1/5th) of the security deposit back. Am I responsible to do that or does she have to collect that from the 4 other people? I was going to just transfer the security deposit over from the last lease on to the new one so that I didn't have to deal with collecting the 1/5th off my current tenants and send her a check.  

I would not send back any portion of a security deposit until all tenants have moved out and the place has been inspected. It is up to the remaining tenants if they want to give her a portion of it back.

Double check what your lease says, just to make sure you haven't already agreed to something else.

Your lease should state when the security deposit will be returned. Typically it would be when all the signers of the property have vacated the property and turned over the keys back to the LL.  Did you collect deposits from 5 individuals when they moved in or just one? Since 1/5 are moved out, check your lease and see what it says. 

If it is silent about this issue, refund the deposit and update your lease to include that security deposits will be returned within 30 days after ALL signed tenants have vacated the apartment.

The 5th tenant has already moved out months ago, but still paying her portion of the rent. The other 4 tenants are staying, and signed the 2nd leg of the lease, which starts in January. 

The new lease says in additional terms:

"— Security deposit from lease prior will be used for this lease. The tenants accept the unit as-is and accept full responsibility regarding any damages that may be

deducted when all tenants vacate the unit, that may have been caused during the previous lease."

 Just not sure if I am legally obligated to send her her "share" and collect the difference from people who renewed, or just let her get it from her "roommates" 

@Dale Walker It was collected with one check. 

This is what the lease says about it...It doesn't say "ALL TENANTS" just "TENANT"

(A) During the first year of the Lease, the Security Deposit may not exceed two months’ rent. After the first year, the Security

Deposit may not exceed one month's rent. After the second year, the Security Deposit must be placed in an interest-bearing

account which shall be paid to the tenant yearly, however the Landlord may retain up to one percent of interest to offset administrative

costs. After the fifth year, the Security Deposit may not be increased.

(B) When Tenant moves from the Property, Tenant will return all keys and give Landlord written notice of Tenant’s new mailing

address where Landlord can return the Security Deposit.

(C) Within 30 days after Tenant moves from the Property, Landlord will give Tenant a written list of any damage to the Property

for which the Landlord claims Tenant is responsible.

(D) Landlord may deduct repair costs and any unpaid Rent and Additional Rent from Tenant’s Security Deposit. Any remaining

Security Deposit will be returned to Tenant within 30 days after Tenant moves from the Property.

I would improve your lease language and make it clear to new tenants, but never refund any deposits until all parties have moved out and you get a clear view of condition.  With furniture in place you have no idea what condition the place is in.  Ask her to work it out with the remaining occupants, to either buy her out, or provide her portion when they move out.  We collect one rent payment and return one security deposit check.

Thank you for everyones feedback. I will fix the working in the lease for future properties/tenants. I will just refund her portion of the security deposit after I have the tenants who renewed the lease pay it to me.