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Security Deposits from a Fort Worth Tenant’s Perspective: 5 Ways to Get Your Full Money Back

Derek DeGuire - Monday, May 14, 2018

Today at DeGuire Paperless Property Management, we are running a two-part blog that talks about what you need to know about security deposits. Part One will be provided from the tenant’s perspective and Part Two is from the landlord’s perspective. This is the first part of that blog which will give tips on how tenants can get their full security deposit back.

The security deposit is a very important part of the lease agreement. It is money paid in advance by the tenant to the landlord to cover potential property damage and potential nonpayment of rent. Recent surveys show that only 50 percent of tenants receive their full deposit back. So today we’re going to talk about what tenants can do to get that security deposit back. The Texas Property Code, Sections 92.101 – 92.109, protects the rights of renters regarding the security deposit. Renters should take a look at this online to see the requirements of a security deposit refund.

The security deposit pays for repairs that are due to substantial property damage above normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear might be a worn carpet in a high traffic area, small holes in the wall from nails and tacks, or possibly dirty ceiling fans. These are all considered normal wear and tear. Substantial damage is a hole in the carpet or a stain where the carpet has to be replaced. It might include missing or broken mini blinds and large holes in the walls. These are things that will cost money and the cost can be subtracted from your security deposit.

Here are five tips that will help tenants get a full refund:

  • Understand the lease agreement and the section applying to security deposits. Ask questions before you sign the lease and understand what’s expected.
  • Document the condition of the rental property when you move in. Take pictures and make notes and notify the landlord so everyone agrees on the condition when you moved in.
  • Month to month renters need to give a 30 day notice to the landlord before vacating. If you give less than 30 days, you may owe additional rents, which can be subtracted from the security deposit.
  • When you move out, get the landlord to walk the property with you. Maybe you can get an idea of the things that need to be repaired. Then, you can do them inexpensively and preserve your deposit.

Leave a forwarding address with your landlord. This is the only way they will know where to send your security deposit. Hopefully these are helpful tips for tenants. If you have any questions, please contact us at DeGuire Paperless Property Management.