If you’ve been a tenant you know that renting an apartment is expensive. Especially the first month with the security deposit and first & last month’s rent. Most tenants hope and expect to get their entire security deposit back from the landlord or property management company. We researched a local property management company with over 2,000 tenants and discovered an interesting fact. On average they only return 54% of a tenant’s security deposit. That may seem like a low amount. Why?

Here are the top reasons, property managers deduct from a tenant’s security deposit:

  1. Outstanding Rent or other charges on tenant’s account
  2. Cost of carpet cleaning. Many leases require a carpet-cleaning fee on move-out.
  3. Cost of additional cleaning of unit. Cleaning averages about $40/hour.
  4. Cost to repair damages. Maintenance & repair averages about $55/hour
  5. Cost to remove abandoned items the tenant doesn’t want anymore.

It is important to help tenants understand the move-out process & the expectations for the security deposit. Setting expectations up-front help ease the tension of disappoint a tenant may feel when they only receive a portion of their security deposit.