In today’s blog, we are continuing our security deposit guide for Santa Rosa, CA landlords. In our first part, we talked specifically about paint and flooring. This blog will focus on how you balance the responsibility of the tenant with the responsibility of the landlord.
Unless there has been serious damage done to an appliance, you won’t be able to charge a tenant for its replacement. The lifespan depends on the manufacturer, but stoves usually last about 10 years. You’re going to have to replace stoves, fridges and dishwashers when they reach the end of their lifespan. If a tenant broke all the burners on a stove by using really heavy pots, that might be a charge you can make from the security deposit. However, in general, an appliance will be an owner’s responsibility.
There are some landlords who operate on the presumption that if anything at all needs to be done; they can just charge the tenant. This is not a good business practice. You want to operate your rental home fairly and ethically, so make sure even in the move out process you are being fair to your tenants. If you don’t, it puts your investment and your income at risk because when you charge for expenses that do not make sense, your tenant can and will take you to court.
The most important lesson from this security deposit guide for Santa Rosa, CA landlords is the absolute need for documentation. When your tenant moves in, document the property’s condition and allow the tenant to note anything that’s wrong with the property. Compare the move in condition to the move out condition. At move out, you must provide a statement of condition form. This shows both the tenants and the property owners how the place looked before a tenant took possession and after the tenant moved out.
Remember that are inherent costs in owning a rental property. It’s a business, and our approach to handling security deposits is to look out for our owners. However, we want to be able to justify to any objective third party (such as a judge) that our calculations are fair and reasonable. Taking advantage of tenants is not the way we do business.
If you have any questions about the move out process and how security deposits are handled, please contact us at DeDe’s Rentals.