This Article is About
stub your toe
problem areas
property management
Property Management 101: The Security Deposit Claim
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Many property management procedures and duties are time-consuming, difficult, and full of potential pitfalls, but none rival the claim for damages against a security deposit. Properly handling a claim is a very difficult process and one that should not be taken lightly. State laws govern the timelines, the specific language required to be used in the notices, and the details of the filing process. Be careful not to stub your toe on this one!

Discovering the Problem Areas

After a tenant moves out and surrenders possession of the property, the property manager should immediately perform a move out inspection. Ideally, the unit should be left in 'move in ready condition' for the next tenant, and thus the inspection process becomes a mere formality. However, more times than not, the property reveals obvious deficiencies when a thorough inspection of the premises is undertaken.

Examples of minor problems discovered during the move out inspection include the following:

a) the carpets have not been professionally cleaned (always ask for the receipt)

b) holes are left in the walls where pictures once hung

c) trash is left in the unit

d) the oven and/or refrigerator is not properly cleaned

e) the lawn and/or landscaping is left in disarray (mowing, edging, and watering are typically the tenants responsibility)

Once the move out inspection is completed, the property manager has a list of the items that need to be addressed.

Assessing the Damages

The next step in this process is to assess the damages in hard dollars by obtaining actual written estimates to repair the unit and return it to its original move in ready condition. Based on the above examples, the following actions would need to be taken:

a) Obtain a written estimate to professionally clean the carpets. Normally an estimate of this type would note the general condition of the carpets and what specifically would be done in the cleaning process.

b) Obtain an estimate to patch the holes in the walls and touch up the paint. In severe cases, entire walls or even rooms must be painted. Always get the estimate in writing with an itemization of the specific work that needs to be performed.

c) Obtain an estimate to clean the unit including the oven, the refrigerator, removal of all trash or garbage, and any other necessary cleaning required to bring the unit back to its original condition.

d) Obtain an estimate for the lawn.

Obtaining Owner Authorization

Once the estimates are received, it's time to convey the information to the owner. The inspection report and all of the supporting photos need to be sent to the owner for his or her review. Be sure and obtain a written response from the owner after the information has been reviewed.

The estimates for the repair of the damages also need to be sent to the owner. Once the review of the estimates has been completed by the owner, it's time to obtain written authorization to proceed with both the repairs and the claim. Be careful to get the owner's authorization in writing or by email. (Remember: print the authorization and put it in the file for future reference!) Once the authorization is obtained, release the hounds(!!!) and send out the contractors to complete the repairs.

Filing the Claim

In Florida we are allowed only 15 days if the security deposit is to be refunded in full, or 30 days to file a claim for damages against the deposit. Once the estimates and owner authorization are received, it's time to fill out the state form and send it by certified mail to the last known address of the tenant. This must be done within the 30 day time period!

Once the invoices for the completed repairs have arrived, it's time to perform a follow up inspection to make sure everything is in order at the unit. Take good, clear photos of the repairs, the freshly cleaned unit, and document everything. Once the repairs are completed, the unit is restored to it's original condition, and the property manager is convinced that the unit has no further tenant-inflicted damages, it's time to pay the contractors and refund the balance of the security deposit to the departed tenant.

So how's that Big Toe feeling now?

This is one in a series of articles on Property Management 101 for landlords, tenants, and managers alike.

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Symptom Of Gout – How To Keep It At Bay
There are literally millions of people that aren’t sure what is going on with their body, and many of them are dealing with the stress and pain involved with an ailment that is known as gout. This malady harms a great deal of people from all walks of life, and…
By: Margaret Driscoll in  Health and Fitness  >  Arthritis   Mar 25, 2012  
  Likes: 1

If You Read One Article About Wedding Gift Ideas Read This One
Whether you are trying to find the perfect gift for a couple who are getting married or you are trying to compile a gift list for your own wedding, there is something about wedding gift lists which can cause even the most normal people to begin to lose the plot.…
By: Adam28 in  Relationships  >  Wedding   Apr 09, 2014  
  Likes: 0

Need Cash For My House Now In Florida
Is “I need cash for my home in Florida” a familiar refrain? If so, then you shouldn’t waste another moment. If the subject of sell my home in Florida now appeals to you, then why not do something about that? Through our company, if you find yourself saying things along…
By: allinone1 in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Jun 06, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Various Ways In Which You Can Be Cheated While Dealing In Real Estate
Buying a real estate is a dream for most when it comes to residential buying and most of those people don’t have any sort of experience in Property buying. Not all, but still it has happened that sellers try to cheat buyers with fraud documents, fake registry, and many other…
By: Robbert Cobbs in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Jun 04, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Why Real Estate Projects In Noida Are Captivating!
With promising aspirations, better infrastructure, high standards of living, Noida has emerged as one of the favorite places for home buyers. Set up in 1976, with a view to develop an Integrated Industrial Township for the industrial growth this city is perfect potpourri of residential societies, luxury villas and commercial…
By: Investor Homez in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   May 28, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Leadsestates - Properties Real Estate Agency In Dha Lahore
DHA Lahore is a corporate organization which is committed and aimed towards providing the people very best of living standards in Pakistan. Defence Housing Society is the most modern and elegant living place for the classy people of Pakistan and Lahore. This society has been developed according to the international…
By: Muhammad Abbas Ch in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   May 20, 2016  
  Likes: 2

Byron Bay Real Estate Beachfront And Other Properties
The most noteworthy house deals (140) were in March 2002, the tallness of the surge and after that took after by much lower turnover, normal of 80 house deals for each month. The most recent deals (100) were in March 2007 and are presently indicating what I accept to be…
By: Zeeshan Ahmad in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   May 12, 2016  
  Likes: 0

How Does A Survey By Homebuyer Reports Western Super Mare Services Help You?
Today, most of the homebuyers believe that the home they want to purchase has already undergone a survey. But, the fact is that the houses only had a valuation for mortgage while all other remaining valuation works are not yet complete. The homebuyers report is essential to safeguard you and…
By: Sia Benet in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   May 10, 2016  
  Likes: 0

An Overview Of the Growing Real Estate In Delhi NCR
Delhi can safely be called the real estate nucleus of India, owning to fast paced development in and around the city. The real estate market in Delhi has scaled new height. The city has experienced tremendous growth in terms of infrastructure development with the erection of many schools, colleges, hospitals,…
By: Nadeem Akhtar in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Apr 12, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Mumbai Real Estate Turns Attractive for NRI Investors
Over the years, the urge of settling back to their countries as well as their hometowns and making a better standard of living for their families has led many Indians to shift to other countries for better work-pay equations. Better job opportunities and much better pay gives them an opportunity…
By: Nadeem Akhtar in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Apr 11, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Tips to Invest In Upcoming Property Projects In Navi Mumbai
According to the last survey conducted by a private real estate firm, Mumbai continues to be the most preferred location for property buyers. While some are eager to make property investment in the city, others are waiting for the right time to purchase property for personal use. The best time…
By: Nadeem Akhtar in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Apr 09, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Guide to Buying Low Budget Flats In Mumbai
Buying a house can seem like an overwhelming experience, so if you're wondering where to start then don't - by breaking down the process into bite size chunks, it makes life a little easier. With real estate market in Mumbai going overboard in terms of prices, middle-income group individuals had…
By: Nadeem Akhtar in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Apr 05, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Pros Of Property Development Bournemouth
There are many pros associated with property development Bournemouth. This article would guide you through different benefits that you might achieve by getting associated to this business. You might have noticed that this type of business is a bit different from the other types of property investments. In fact, this…
By: aby in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Apr 03, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Questions to Ask Before Investing In Property
While buying a property has always been a dream for almost everyone, only few can afford them. With rising property prices, especially in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and others, property investors and home buyers have been on a wait and watch stand. Though the property prices are not coming…
By: Nadeem Akhtar in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Apr 01, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Tips to Invest In Real Estate In Vashi
When we talk about real estate properties, Mumbai is the first city that comes to the mind in terms of lifestyle, standard of living, occupation and dwelling. The city has shelter for both poor and rich alike. Be it small 1room kitchen apartments or lavish duplexes, the city houses all.…
By: Nadeem Akhtar in  Real Estate  >  Property Management   Mar 30, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 2505    Report this Article