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What Can a Landlord Deduct From a Security Deposit?

System - Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Property Management Blog

For landlords, security deposits provide the assurance that their rental property and furnishings will be returned in a condition similar to when it was rented.

Once a tenant moves out at the end of the lease agreement, what happens to their deposit? What can a landlord deduct from a security deposit?

In this blog post, we'll explain the basics of what you can deduct from your tenant's security deposit and how to ensure that everything is done legally.

Security Deposit Law in San Antonio, TX

In San Antonio, landlords are required to abide by the security deposit law outlined in the Texas Property Code.

The security deposit can cover unpaid rent and be used for several other purposes. Keep up with tenant landlord law in San Antonio and familiarize yourself with what you can deduct from a security deposit.

The security deposit may be used to cover the following

1. Unpaid Rent

If the tenant owes rent when they move out, the landlord can deduct that amount from the security deposit. This includes late fees or utility bills that have gone unpaid.

2. Damages Beyond Normal Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear should not be deducted from a tenant's security deposit as it is considered part of the natural aging process of the property. But if the tenant damages the property beyond what is considered normal wear and tear, the landlord can deduct the cost of repairs from the security deposit.

Examples of damage beyond what is considered normal wear and tear include carpet stains, holes in walls, or broken fixtures.

You'll need compensation for property repairs, and the security deposit can cover those costs. And you'll need to provide an itemized list of what was repaired and what was charged.

3. Cleaning Costs

If the property needs additional cleaning beyond what was expected at move-in, those costs can be taken out of the security deposit for rent.

However, any deductions for cleaning must be reasonable. If it would cost more than half of the total amount of the security deposit to clean the unit, then this may not be a viable option for the deduction.

4. Re-Keying Costs

If the tenant loses their keys or fails to return them when they move out, the landlord can deduct the cost of re-keying the locks from the security deposit.

5. Late Fees

If the tenant is late in paying rent, the landlord can deduct any late fees specified in the lease agreement from the security deposit. It's important to note that the landlord cannot charge more than what is legally allowed in their jurisdiction as a late fee.

What Can a Landlord Deduct From a Security Deposit in San Antonio, TX

Knowing what can be deducted from a tenant’s security deposit will ensure that you can recoup any losses while still being fair with your tenants and following legal guidelines regarding rental properties and associated deposits.

If you have questions about specific deductions or need help understanding your rights as a landlord in regard to collecting deposits from tenants, Home River Group of San Antonio can help.

Do you want to know more about what can a landlord deduct from a security deposit? We’ll answer all your questions and provide the knowledge you need to ensure that security deposits are managed properly and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more!