Returning Deposits
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Returning Deposits (by WMH [NC]) Feb 21, 2021 12:50 PM
       Returning Deposits (by myob [GA]) Feb 21, 2021 2:02 PM
       Returning Deposits (by Dee Ann [WI]) Feb 21, 2021 2:10 PM
       Returning Deposits (by Allym [NJ]) Feb 21, 2021 2:22 PM
       Returning Deposits (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 21, 2021 3:03 PM
       Returning Deposits (by Dee Ann [WI]) Feb 21, 2021 3:18 PM
       Returning Deposits (by WMH [NC]) Feb 21, 2021 4:35 PM
       Returning Deposits (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Feb 22, 2021 12:00 AM
       Returning Deposits (by S i d [MO]) Feb 22, 2021 9:35 AM
       Returning Deposits (by Wilma [PA]) Feb 22, 2021 3:32 PM
       Returning Deposits (by WMH [NC]) Feb 23, 2021 9:00 AM

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Returning Deposits (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2021 12:50 PM

You know, we always have that one tenant who wants their deposit back the day they are leaving. We've avoided that trap two ways:

1) We don't do walk-throughs last day, they are not required here. Once they return possession by leaving the keys on the counter and are gone, THEN we go do our own walk-through. (Of course we provide a cleaning checklist and we are in the house in the days or weeks leading up to departure, just not day OF departure.)

2) We tell folks: "We do not have checks for the SD Trust Account. That money is yours and we do not have access to it until you are out.) True. "We will have the bank send the check to your forwarding address within 30 days - usually much faster but it's at least 7-10 days to process."

Now, though, I've started returning deposits using Zelle and Venmo. I have a record of it, you can makes notes on the payments, and no checks to deal with. Works nicely for the good ones. If they are not great ones I fall back on "the bank will send it." Gives us more time to poke around anyway.

I email them an accounting sheet for any deductions as required, showing them the amount they can expect to received, then send the rest. Most get it all back except for minor stuff.

Returning Deposits (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2021 2:02 PM

our state mandates if you manage more than 10 rentals the deposit must be placed in an escrow account. The tenant is given that account number as part of a paragraph of the lease.

Tenant request $ right away-- sorry that is held in a special account that can only be accessed 30 days after lease end.


Done and Done

Returning Deposits (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2021 2:10 PM

Hmm, never thought of the SD Trust Account idea. We rarely do walk thru any more as it is either a waste of our time or just a chance for the tenant to verbally abuse us.

We will do a pre-final walk thru for our very best tenants that we know will correct any cleaning issues, and that will go back to complete them.

I wanted to return using Zelle to those that send rent thru Zelle. Our Apartment Association attorney said it is not in our State statutes that we can do this, so not to do it. I would say our statutes are behind the times.

Returning Deposits (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2021 2:22 PM

all SDs have been required to go into a rent security escrow account here for many years. So I hav 30 days to return money. I tell them I have to go to the bank to get it and sit there while they close the account, so I will send it to them. And that's the way it works. I don't do walk throughs. They just lie anyway so why bother. Last one I did was with a lawyer and he had filled in deep scratches in molding that his dog made, with plaster. Found that when I painted. Good thing I had not sent the security yet. --108.24.xx.xx

Returning Deposits (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2021 3:03 PM

Dee Ann, In that case, I do not know why the attorney didn't say " it is not in our State statutes that we CAN'T do this"

Returning Deposits (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2021 3:18 PM

6x6, agreed. Pehaps he knows the mindset of the judges; I've never had to go to court on rental issues. And case law sets precident. He said if one tenant didn't like it and it went to court, the judge would likely follow the letter of the law. I respect this attorney; he's for the LL and has seen it all.

If the judges in LL/tenant court are anything like traffic court...the traffic offenders get away with everything in Milwaukee, so the tenant would probably be rewarded.

Returning Deposits (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2021 4:35 PM

Our State Statutes don't address methods of delivery for most things. Notices, etc. can be email, text, what have you. If money has to be returned, nothing says it has to be cash or check. Tenants pay ME electronically, so I can pay them electronically.

Returning Deposits (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Feb 22, 2021 12:00 AM


Good stuff.

This problem disappeared when I stopped carrying a checkbook years ago.

“The office writes all the checks and sends them to your forwarding address.”

SID gave us the tip to add a lease clause - Expedite fee for fast return of deposit $50.


Returning Deposits (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 22, 2021 9:35 AM

Agreed. We only have to tell the tenant when the walk thru will be, per state law. I typically make it while they are at work or early in the morning when they're still in bed on the weekend. Doesn't have to be done on the last day of the lease.

I walk thru the unit with my phone taking video, staying on the right wall so as to go thru the entire house. Same as I do on the move in. Easy to see what the damages are. If they start asking questions, the standard response is, "I'm just here to take video so we know what to fix. Deposit refunds are made within 30 days."

Don't argue. There is nothing to argue about. As Officer Friday said, "Just the facts...."

"Will I be charged for this?" Ans: I'm just here to take video.

"How soon will I get the deposit?" Ans: Refunds are made within 30 days unless you'd like the expedited option.

"It was like that when we moved in." Ans: Mmmm.... + thoughtful nod

Written deposit statement goes out within 30 days, unless they pay the $50 expedited return fee. Gotta be careful with this! Bugs sometimes don't show up until 5-7 days later. Leave out some sticky traps for ants/roaches and SenSci volcanos for bed bugs.

Returning Deposits (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Feb 22, 2021 3:32 PM

We don't have to do walk-throughs here in PA. Long experience has taught me to wait until everything has been inspected and cleaned, every appliance run through it's paces, and every utility bill paid.

I once had an awful moveout, a real mess, and the 30 day limit was approaching and the repairs/rehab were not completed. A former member of this board who was from PA advised me that under PA's rules, all that I had to do was to sending an ACCOUNTING of deductions to the security deposit to the tenant by day 30, both what had been/and what would be accomplished, plus a summary of costs/estimates. I did so, informing them that a final accounting, plus any unused SD, would be sent when the final bill was received and paid. (So check the wording of your state's laws about returning SDs, as they may be different than PA's.)

BTW, they got ZERO. When they called to complain and threaten that they had 3 dozen photos proving how good the place looked, I calmly replied that I had hundreds of before/after shots, plus video, plus samples of the nicotine on white rags and carpet pieces that smelled like cigarettes all bagged up and saved; so I'll see you in small claims after you file the suit - they never bothered. Yup, lots of before/after photos and physical evidence is critical. --96.245.xx.xx

Returning Deposits (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 23, 2021 9:00 AM

NC says Interim Accounting must be sent within 30 days, Final Accounting within 60 - if there is a lot of damage that needs quoting, etc. We don't have that problem anymore so I always send within 30.

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