Property Management: How to Oversee a Security Deposit Refund

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Are you excited to rent out your property? Is the prospect of your real estate working for you exciting? Well, as interesting as this venture can be, it's important to familiarize yourself with the territory. 

With the federal eviction moratorium ending, renting out property in Texas is about to become a messy process. With this in mind, you need to be aware of important factors when it comes to renting, especially security deposits. 

Every landlord should be able to navigate a security deposit refund, so don't click away. This guide will outline everything you need to know about the process. 

Make Sure The Property Is in Good Condition

Over 40 million Americans are currently renting. While this means that there are people out there who need your services, it also means that you can get a  bad tenant. While a tenant screening or tenant background check can help, there are more steps to take. 

You are required to conduct an exit inspection before the tenant comes in and when they leave. This will allow you to see if the property is in the same condition as when you rented it out. 

You should take special care to make sure that there are no damages to the flooring or walls of the property. You should also make sure that surfaces and appliances like stoves and refrigerators are clean.

Ensure Everything Is Squared With Roommates

Handling one end or rental agreement can be difficult, and when roommates are involved it gets even harder. 

You want to document any agreements made with the tenant's roommates before they move in and after they move out. You should remember that you don't have to refund the security deposit signed by the whole party if only one roommate is leaving. 

While it can be hard to work out a deal with multiple tenants, this shouldn't sway you from refunding their deposit. 

Familiarize Yourself With the Refund Timetable

When it comes to a security deposit refund, there is no one-size-fits-all timetable federally. This is why you need to understand the specific timeframe based on the state you reside in.

In Texas, landlords are required to refund security deposits within 30 days after the tenants leave. Failing to do this opens up the opportunity for your tenants to sue you for security deposit fraud. 

If your case goes to court, you are liable to pay triple the initial amount of the security deposit. 

Navigating Security Deposit Refund Is Crucial

Renting out your property can be a hassle, and at times you may struggle to keep up with the smaller things. Despite this, you need to stay on top of the property's condition and the specifics of the end of the rental agreement.

Failing to complete inspections or commit to a security deposit refund puts you at risk. It not only means potential financial damages but legal repercussions too. So why take any chances? 

At Terra Residential Services Inc. we have the knowledge and recourses you need to manage your property. So don't hesitate to contact us!