How to Handle Security Deposit Deductions?
Many people ask us how we handle security deposit deductions and damages caused by tenants. For us, this process starts very early even the tenant moving into the property in the first place. Pre-move in Process We send them an apartment condition statement form for them to fill out 14 days…
Many people ask us how we handle security deposit deductions and damages caused by tenants. For us, this process starts very early even the tenant moving into the property in the first place.
Pre-move in Process
We send them an apartment condition statement form for them to fill out 14 days before they move in. Most property management companies and landlords just use a piece of paper in which the tenant will fill out in writing where the damage is and usually, there is no proof of it.
Tenants can also write as generally as they want. Most landlords probably didn’t look at their apartment condition or statement form in detail when tenants first moved in. No major issues were glaring, but every single thing can add up. Instead of using a piece of paper where there’s no pictures or proof for written descriptions, we use a specific software called the zInspector.
How does zInspector work?
It is unique, and it allows us to create a special inspection for every single property. When you walkthrough the property, we’re going to label each room. Tenants are going to fill out this form themselves, room by room with pictures of it. This is great because our software allows us to also compare year after year.
If we have a tenant that will move in this September or the first of the year, or when they vacate, we can see and compare the inspection forms. We’re going to compare room by room. We try to avoid arguments with tenants who will just say,
“Hey, I said the floors were damaged.” But they didn’t state where. They love it to be general, whereas our form allows them to check each room and say this specific room with this picture has damage.
Security Deduction Process
After we look at the previous apartment condition statement form or inspection report that was filled out by the tenant, we’re going to make an itemized list of any damages prior to the tenant actually moving out. We start them a month before their move out and we’ll actually inform the tenants of these potential deductions and damages to give them the opportunity to fix themselves. They’re not charged to allow them that these are the type of things that they’re being deducted for.
It saves the landlords a lot of headaches, issues, and potential lawsuits in the future. But the worst thing that could happen is when a tenant moves out, you send a security deposit back with all these deductions, they file a lawsuit and they go to court with you.
It’s a nightmare so you need to have the information and documentation for backup. If tenants agreed with the damages that they need to pay or have to repair, that is much better. We will help by scheduling a repair with our trusted vendors. We try to schedule the work in advance prior to the next tenants moving in.
If you or anyone else you know is struggling with the security deposit as well as move in move out damages process, feel free to reach out to Green Ocean Property Management. We’d love to help you out and remember with Green Ocean Property Management, you get more than a property manager, you get peace of mind.
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