Can a property owner automatically keep a deposit for damage or default?

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12/09/2016 | Author: TAR Legal Staff

I visited one of the properties I manage because the tenants are behind in their rent. They had moved out and took their possessions but left a considerable amount of damage, plus a lot of trash. They also left a note with their new address for the owner to return their deposit. Can the property owner keep their security deposit to cover the cost of repairs and clean up?

No, he cannot automatically keep the security deposit. However, he may be entitled to some or all of it, since it’s a fund to offset damages that an owner may incur because of a tenant’s default under a lease.

The Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease (TAR 2001) lists the deductions that the owner can make from the security deposit because of a tenant's breach of contract of the lease. In your case, it's likely the delinquent rent and other damages you describe will exceed the amount of the security deposit and the owner will be allowed to retain all of it.

Since the tenants left a written statement of their forwarding address, you or the owner are required to give the tenants a written description and itemized list of the deductions from the security deposit within 30 days after the tenants surrendered possession of the property.

Read more questions and answers in the Legal FAQs section of texasrealestate.com.

Categories: Legal
Tags: legal, legal faq, security deposit, tenant rights, tenants, rental, renting, leasing, property management

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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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