Apart from the contract between a landlord and his tenant, another important document is a security deposit receipt. Security deposits protect the landlord from tenants who do not abide by the terms of the rental agreement. This is an extra amount on top of the initial rent payments covered in the rental agreement making sure that the tenant plays by the rules. These rules include paying the right rental amount on a timely basis, keeping the property in good condition and following all the terms and conditions as stated in the lease agreement.
A landlord may opt not to have a security deposit agreement with the tenant. When you ask a potential tenant to fork out more money, the property gets harder to rent out. Some landlords are satisfied with renting out their property for as long as the tenant pays for the first month's rent during contract signing.
Unfortunately, not all landlords are blessed with tenants who stick to the contract agreement. Landlords are highly encouraged to ask for a deposit and provide the tenant with the security deposit rental receipt. Tenants who are really interested in renting a property will not mind paying extra for the security deposit. After all, if all goes well, they can have their deposit back at the end of their stay.
Once the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within a month or so. The amount returned will depend on the condition of the property once it is vacated or if the tenant has pending rent or utility bills that need to be paid.
As a landlord, you can find security deposit rental samples or deposit forms on the Internet.
The following information must be in the security deposit receipt:
- Name of the landlord and tenant
- Amount paid
- Date of payment
- Intended use of security deposit (payment of unpaid rental, utilities, clean-up bill or repair of property)
- Signature of the landlord (or the agent's if one was involved)
A signed statement listing the condition of the property prior to occupancy is sometimes part of the security deposit. Additional notes and photographs of the property, especially existing damages may also be included.
Tenants must get a Security Deposit Receipt from their landlord if they were required to pay for such. The landlord is required to give you a receipt. In some states, non-issuance of a security deposit receipt allows tenants to sue their landlords.
As a tenant, to get your security deposit receipt:
- Check your contract if the security deposit receipt is written into the lease.
- Ask the landlord for one if he hasn't given it to you yet. You can start with a verbal request and move on to a written request until you get the receipt. In some states, tenants can sue their landlords up to three times the amount of the security deposit if the landlord fails to give a receipt even after a written request was made.
It is important to know that his type of receipt is not limited to real estate rental properties. When you lease equipment or any other item for that matter (clothes, books, cars, jewelry, etc.), the owner of the goods usually issues a security receipt. This is different from a purchase receipt, which is issued when you buy an item.
A security deposit receipt protects both the landlord and the tenant. This proves that money has changed hands between the two parties. Landlords are required to issue a security deposit receipt and tenants must make sure that they have one.