Question about final month of occupancy and deposit

5 Replies

Need some advice. I have a tenant who has been with me for a year and has always paid on-time the full amount owed and has never been a problem. Enter the girl friend who moved in full-time within the last 3 months. Since she has moved in, I have cited him for a couple of lease violations (which was her fault). Last month, he gave me a 2 month notice that he was moving out. Now that we are in the last month, and the final months rent is due, he is telling me that he started a new job and he has been shortened on his pay and is asking to apply the deposit to the last months rent and that he will leave the apt. clean and tidy.

What would you do?

Absolutely not. Once the deposit is used for rent, what will you do about the hole in the wall or the broken door that he left?

Many (some?) states don’t allow the deposit to be used for rent. I would use that as my ‘excuse’.

“Rent is still due on the 1st as we’re not allowed to use the deposit for rent payment. As long as you leave the apartment clean and free of any damage, I’ll get the full deposit back to you within 30 days and I’ll try even sooner. “

I’d also define what you expect in terms of ‘clean’. Broom swept? Or rent-ready with doors and cabinets washed, carpets vacuumed, etc.

You follow the guidelines outlined in your lease.  Afterall, that is why you have a lease.

Security deposits are not used for paying rent.  If you allow for that, then you won't have anything to hold when the Tenant leaves the place dirty and damaged.

Now, if he doesn't have it, he doesn't have it, and you may be going through the motions for nothing.  However, you still need to follow the lease.  What does it tell you to do when you do not receive payment?  Maybe when threatened with a credit tarnish, the Tenant will rethink his strategy of not paying you.

By the way, Why didn't you do anything when the girlfriend moved in?  She should have been vetted, and added to the lease properly.  Again, follow the terms of your lease, and your established policies, and DO NOT stray from them.  It's only when we stray from those that we allow these kinds of things to happen.

Best of luck to you!

Thank you both for the reassuring post. My gut was telling me to stick with the lease and not stray from what I have done in the past. I must be getting old and soft. And yes @Cara Lonsdale she was vetted and is clean. But however clean they may be, it changes the dynamics when the girl or boyfriend moves my experience, this scenario never works out well for the Landlord.

I agree with the others. Never let a tenant use their security deposit as last month's rent. Though, unfortunately, you're sometimes forced into that position.

I'd tell him the security deposit cannot be used as last month's rent and you will need to file for an eviction if it is not paid.  Then, follow through.  Post a 3-Day Pay or Quit Notice (or whatever timeframe is required for your jurisdiction).

Sure, he might already be out by the time the eviction case comes around.  But it's at least incentive for him to pay the rent like he is supposed to.  Plus, if he doesn't pay April's rent AND doesn't leave, the eviction is already in the works with no delays.