Returning security deposit

6 Replies

I had a tenant message me saying that he is officially moved out after renting for 6 1/2 years. I can't recall the last time I had a lease signed(stupidity on my part). He gave no notice of leaving. I sent a text asking for the rent on Thursday and he text saying he was moved out on Friday. I'm gonna no to inspect the house today. Should I return the deposit? I would think that after 6 1/2 years I could eat up a security deposit bringing the place to rentable again. Any advice is welcome.

Don't punish the tenant for your oversight. If you don't have a lease to refer to then I say give them the benefit of the doubt in all situations, such as required notice to move out. If there is damage that is clearly beyond normal wear and tear (keeping in mind it has been 6.5 years) I would hold them accountable. But I'd make sure I could defend myself in small claims court which may be difficult without a lease unless anything you withheld money for is glaringly obvious.

This post has been removed.

Check your state law. In NJ, I am required to send a full accounting of the security deposit within 30 days. We send it by certified mail to the last know address. If it is returned unopened do NOT open it. If you land in court, you can prove you did that, but if opened, the judge usually will dismiss it as evidence of you complying. 

I don’t think is would be right to withhold tenants security deposit in your case. Of course, you may keep deposit costs, cause tenants ended their lease earlier. So you may need these deposit cover the costs associated with this lease termination. However, it also depends on the wording of your lease and the particular landlord-tenant laws in your state.

When was rent due ? On the 1st..? then you had a month to month lease if nothing was signed for several years, so lease converted to month to month.  and it just carried on.

He was required to give a 30 day notice prior to the 1st day of the month on any month to month lease, written or verbal. 

So Improper notice..He's responsible for 1 months rent, deduct that from his deposit. 

You can charge him for damages, not wear and tear. so check BP for what's considered wear and tear.

Keep receipts of what was damaged you need to replace.

Take move out photo's to document condition and fill out a move out sheet with charges for anything damaged or needing extra cleaning.

If you rent apartment before the 30 days your charging rent for your going to have to adjust his move out charges for rent as you can't double collect rent from 2 people for same period.

If he owes more than deposit, send him the bill, If he didn't provide a forward send to his apartment he vacated let the post office forward.

Check your state landlord tenant laws for security deposit,, just make sure you send him his security deposit statement in the mail with in time period allowed.

Charge for things he broke nothing else. Long term tenants should be good for the investor- that's why we keep them.

I had a 6 yr move out a few months ago. Large 2 br apt in a duplex. Cost me about 3-4K in painting/make ready. I deducted about $30 from their deposit to cover a few cheap window blinds that were broken (even though I replaced all of them) because the honestly rest was all normal wear and tear.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here