An apartment security deposit is a fee paid to the property owner by the renter at the outset of a lease agreement. Apartment security deposits protect the landlord against serious loss. Renters are encouraged to take better care of the property and follow through with their agreement by putting money down as collateral.
1. Some states have maximum apartment security deposit amounts
Apartment security amounts can vary, but some states have set a cap. However, the amounts vary greatly, depending on where you are. For example, the cap in Arkansas is an amount equal to two months' rent, while New Hampshire law caps apartment security deposits at $100 or one month's rent, whichever is greater, barring that the landlord and tenant share a building. However, there are also a number of states that have no statutes relating to maximum allowable apartment security deposits.
2. Apartment security deposits are refundable
The best part about apartment security deposits? They're refundable! If you take good care of your apartment, clean it sufficiently and follow all guidelines from the property owner, you'll get your security deposit back after moving out. Apartment security deposits are notoriously hard to get returned, so you must be adamant about caring for your apartment.
3. You can be required to pay additional deposits when you renew your lease
Once you've paid your apartment security deposit, you might think you're all done. However, sometimes when you renew your lease, the property owner will ask you to pay an additional security deposit. This could be because improvements have been made to the property or because rent has increased. The additional amounts paid are still eligible for a refund once you move out, so you aren't contributing to a loss.
Apartment security deposits are no big deal
Apartment security deposits are the norm for renting in the U.S. There are almost no cases where you'll be able to rent without paying a deposit. You shouldn't be worried about the security deposit, but you should be prepared for it. Knowing what to expect when renting is half of the battle.