What is a security deposit for?

September 2, 2008 at 10:28 pm (Apartment Living) (, , , , , , , )

Moving in to an apartment means you’re going to have to pay a rather hefty fee that they hold for the entire time you live there. Most people realize that this comes with the territory, but there are some poor, uninformed souls out there still.

My security deposit was 250 dollars while my rent is 520 every month. I’ve seen places where the deposit is as low as 100 dollars and others as high as a months rent. (Holy cow!) The deposit is their way of making sure you all stay good boys and girls. (Though there is a legal deposit limit.)

Let’s back up a bit though and cover some ground. When you sign a contract to move into an apartment, you don’t just slap on a happy face and pay rent. Apartment renters require some more financial means from you called a ‘security deposit’. When you are signing your contract to move into your new abode, they require financial security from you. As long as they have your money, it’s their safety in a sense. If you refuse to pay your rent they will simply keep it for good. If there are damages to your apartment, they will take out of the deposit what it costs to fix those damages. Now if you are good boys and girls like I mentioned before, you get your money back! Now isn’t that just lovely?

If you want the full deposit back, it will depend on how anal your apartment complex is. Most will repaint the walls and do basic cleaning. But if there are obvious gashes, stains in the carpet, or other things ruined, they will hire a professional to come in and fix these things and charge you what it cost them (in essence taking from your deposit). Things like holes in the wall from thumbtacks or nails are things you need to fix. A smooth application of some spackle should do the trick, yes?

Note also! You cannot use your security deposit as a substitute for rent, nor can you do so when moving out. Don’t think you can get away with it either. Apartments can give bad recommendations of you to other apartments and mess with your credit a bit too if you tried to avoid payment.

So lead the path of the righteous and good. Treat your place well and clean it before you leave.


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