Hillsborough County Property Managers and Security Deposits
Hillsborough County property managers and their tenants often have questions or uncertainties about something that is mentioned in almost every rental agreement: the security deposit. Here are some guidelines to help clarify things about this important part of rental contracts, along with some tips to help give protection against legal disputes.
- Condition of the property: To protect themselves from legal disputes, Hillsborough County property managers should take pictures of the inside and outside of the property before the tenant moves in. Property managers in Hillsborough County usually fill out a form that describes the condition of the property in writing, but pictures are more powerful, especially if trying to argue that a tenant's living habits are causing excessive damage.
- Be specific about the terms of the security deposit: In many cases, the Hillsborough County property manager will use a phrase that says parts of the security deposit can be deducted in the event of anything beyond "normal wear and tear," but those words can be interpreted in a number of different ways. To keep things clear, Hillsborough County property management firms should be very precise about security deposit deductions so that tenants will be well aware of them and less likely to make a dispute after they move out of the property.
- Be aware of local laws: All property managers need to be careful about staying aware of state or local laws regarding security deposits. In most cases, there are very specific time periods in which the remaining security deposit must be mailed to the tenant. If there is no security deposit left over, a disposition letter should be sent instead. This document helps to protect the property manager in case the tenant decides to take the matter up in court.
- Document the damage: After a tenant moves out, property managers should not start to tackle repairs until they have taken photos of the damages. And, they should keep careful receipts and records of the amount of time and money spent to get the property back to its original state. Again, this is a safeguard that protects the property manager in the event of a legal battle.