Best Tips for Handling a Security Deposit for your Roseville, CA Rental Property

When landlords collect security deposits in Roseville, CA, they hold the money until the end of the tenancy in case there is any unpaid rent or damage that needs to be paid for. Excellent tenant screening is one way to ensure you get a tenant who pays on time and takes care of your property, but even with good screening practices a bad tenant can slip through and cause problems.

Deposit Amounts

California allows landlords to collect a maximum of two times the amount of one month’s rent if the home is unfurnished. If it’s a furnished property, the security deposit can be up to three times the amount of rent. Generally, landlords ask for a security deposit that is equal to a month’s rent. For example, if you’re renting a home out for $2,000 per month, the security deposit would be $2,000.

Other Factors Affecting Deposit Amounts

Your tenant screening results might require you to ask for a security deposit that is a bit larger than the typical one month’s rent. When determining how much to collect, you need to consider your tenants’ credit history, employment, income, rental history and the information you collect from background checks. With the economy still in a recovery phase, it’s not uncommon to receive applications from people who have declared bankruptcy or lost previous homes to foreclosures and short sales. Credit problems don’t need to be an instant disqualification. Look at the entire application and determine what kind of risk you’d be taking on this tenant. A negative credit history can be measured against things like stable employment, good landlord references and a clean eviction history. If the risk is higher, you can ask for more of a deposit.

Pet Deposits

One thing you don’t want to do is to charge a pet deposit. When you allow pets into your unit, it’s a good idea to collect a higher security deposit because pets can cause damage to a property. However, if it’s collected as a separate pet deposit, you can only use that money on pet damage. Just make it an additional security deposit so you can use the money for any tenant damage or unpaid rent.

Finally, remember to document everything when you’re conducting a move in inspection. Taking photos and detailed notes will help you when your tenant has moved out and you’re determining whether there was any damage left behind to justify keeping part or all of the deposit.

Contact Action Properties if you need additional tips on how to manage a tenant’s security deposit.