Hundreds of thousands of people are moving to Florida, and that means that landlords are getting busy.
If you're a new landlord, it's time to learn the ropes. One of the first things that you should learn about before welcoming tenants is security deposits in Ocala.
We're here to help you understand. Read on to learn all about security deposits.
What Is a Security Deposit?
So what is a security deposit anyway, and what's the point of requiring one?
A security deposit is a sum of money that you collect from your tenant at the beginning of their tenancy (or whenever they claim the rental unit). You'll generally collect it at the same time that you collect the first month of rent.
Security deposits are beneficial for both tenants and landlords.
For tenants, the security deposit will secure their place in the rental unit. It's also a sum of money that they'll get back at the end of their tenancy provided they treat the unit with care.
On your end, a security deposit will motivate tenants to keep your property in good condition. In the event of damage, that money can go toward any potential repairs.
Are There Regulations Regarding Security Deposits in Ocala, FL?
First and foremost, security deposits aren't required at all in Florida, but they're recommended. You may choose to not require a security deposit at all, or to make it low, if you're struggling to attract tenants.
There is also no upper limit to how expensive a security deposit can be.
Most landlords choose to set the security deposit at the equivalent of one month's rent, though some double that. Keep in mind that if you want to be competitive, you shouldn't make your security deposit more expensive than the average renter can afford. They'll look elsewhere.
Some renters get security deposit assistance, but even then, they're unlikely to pay an exorbitant amount.
You must return the security deposit within 15 to 60 days of the tenant's departure.
Do You Have to Return a Security Deposit?
In the majority of cases, landlords must issue a security deposit refund at the end of their tenant's stay. If you don't return the deposit, and you don't have a good reason for keeping it, you will open yourself up to legal problems.
You can only keep the deposit if the tenant withheld rent, broke their lease, or caused actual damage to the property. Note that normal wear and tear does not count as damage. It's the landlord's responsibility.
You can also only withhold the amount of money that it would cost to repair the damage.
Will You Collect a Security Deposit for Rent?
Security deposits in Ocala are straightforward. Make sure that you charge a reasonable amount and that you put the deposit in a safe place so you can return it when your tenant decides to leave.
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