What Do Landlords Need to Know about Security Deposits in Palm Harbor, FL?

What Do Landlords Need to Know about Security Deposits in Palm Harbor, FL?

Florida was the No. 2 state that people moved to last year. That means there are a ton of newcomers, and they need homes. As a new landlord, you're there to provide.

Are you familiar with all of the ins and outs of being a successful landlord? One thing you need to understand is security deposits. What are they, and what do you need to know about them?

We're here to answer your questions. Read on to learn what you need to know about security deposits in Palm Harbor.

What Are Security Deposits For?

So what's the purpose of a security deposit anyway? Well, it's something that can protect both landlords and tenants. It's a sum of money that a new tenant will give their landlord at the beginning of their stay, and ideally, they'll get it back when they leave.

For landlords, this money can be used if there's any serious property damage during the tenant's stay. It's an extra financial buffer so the landlord doesn't have to pay anything out-of-pocket for repairs.

On the tenant's side, the security deposit can be an annoying charge, but it's still helpful. The deposit secures the property so it gets promised to the tenant, and it also protects the tenant against accidental damage. The cost will come from the deposit rather than the tenant's pocket.

Because the deposit is refundable, the tenant also gets a sum of money to put toward their next home as long as the property condition remains good.

How Much Should You Charge?

How much is a security deposit, anyway? In short, it depends.

There are no set limits in Florida (or Palm Harbor at this time) for how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit. However, with that in mind, you should be careful about pricing.

Most landlords choose to charge the equivalent of one to two months of rent for the deposit. One is fairly standard, but two isn't out of the ordinary either. More than this and you may find you don't get many tenant applications unless your rent is extremely competitive.

Some landlords will lower deposits for special circumstances if they're struggling with vacancies.

Do You Have to Return a Security Deposit?

Landlords in Florida must return deposits within 15 days of a tenant leaving. Landlords can keep portions of security deposits to fix any damage. Standard property maintenance tasks and normal wear and tear don't count as damage.

Landlords also need to record what they're using the deposit for. Tenants can contest this, so make sure you're honest or you may find yourself in legal trouble.

Security Deposits Made Simple

Security deposits aren't as complicated as they may seem. They're there to protect both you and your tenants. As long as you remember that the money isn't yours to keep, you'll be in the clear.

Remembering all of the ins and outs of property investment can be tough. PMI Pinellas can help. Our team of property management pros can help you with everything from security deposits to pesky evictions.

Schedule a consult today.