Tenants and landlords can often be confused about what is a security deposit and what is not a security deposit. So today, we are identifying what security deposit items might include. Security deposits cover tenant damages that go beyond normal wear and tear.
Wear and Tear and Depreciation
Wear and tear items include light scratches on hardwood floors, scuffs on the walls, and worn carpet in high traffic areas. These are things that cannot be charged to the tenant from a security deposit. You have to be aware of depreciation as well. For example, carpets have a depreciation life of six years. So after six years, there is no depreciation value left to be deducted from a security deposit. Paint has a depreciation life of two years. The landlords we work with should expect to paint the house regularly and make sure the property is in good condition through each transition between tenants.
Property Management Ashburn and Security Deposits
At McGrath, we hold a tenant’s security deposit in an escrow account separate from all other funds. It’s still the tenant’s money, and we are only holding it until the disposition of the security deposits is complete and funds are released.
Managing Pet Deposits
Tenants frequently ask us whether pet deposits are required. We do charge a pet deposit when tenants want to move in with an approved pet. The deposit is $500 for the first pet, and $250 for any pets thereafter. This is considered part of the original deposit, and it is fully refundable.
When we send a contractor out to fix tenant damage, that cost is charged to the owner’s account. This is done to ensure our contractors get paid on time. Once the security deposit disposition is released, the owner is reimbursed the amount charged to their account.
If you have any questions about security deposits or Ashburn VA property management in general, please contact us at McGrath Real Estate Services.