Is the Security Deposit OK for the Final Month’s Rent?

By Juliana Torres-Mason

Renters transitioning to a new home have a lot on their minds when it comes to closing accounts, changing their addresses and paying new bills. As the costs of the move pile up, they may be tempted to skip paying the last month of rent. After all, can’t the security deposit cover what is owed?

The short answer is a resounding “no,” said real estate attorney Evan Rosenberg with the Florida firm Ritter Chasid

While renters may have paid the cost of a full month’s rent as a security deposit, the purpose of those funds is to cover any damages the renters left behind. The security deposit was rarely if ever intended to be applied to the last rental payment.


Renegotiating the Rent Rate

By Nikki Davidson

When tenants prepare to sign a new lease, they may assume the price quoted by a landlord isn’t up for debate. In reality, rent can be just as negotiable as the salary or benefits package that comes with a job offer. A reduction of hundreds of dollars off the monthly payment could be warranted. 

There are several actions potential tenants can take to increase their odds of getting a better deal. However, persuading a landlord to drop the price can be tricky. 

This article will discuss why landlords sometimes grant rent reductions and the best way to ask for a price cut without jeopardizing a potential dream home.


Avoid Penalties By Ending the Lease the Right Way

By Amanda Razani

When tenants enter into a signed rental contract with a landlord, they’re agreeing to a set of terms that include the rental rate, residential rules and the date when the lease ends. But life happens, and sometimes renters may need to break the lease.

Whether it’s to get married and move in with a spouse, caregiving for a family member or a job relocation, ending a lease early may be the easiest way for a tenant to avoid shelling out money that can be used for other expenses. However, Texas and Florida laws don’t list any of these instances above as exemptions for ending a lease early. 

Cutting the lease short also leaves a landlord scrambling to find a new tenant to avoid loss of income. And more often than not, the tenant will owe penalties and remaining rent. It’s not always this way though. There are some legally recognized exemptions that allow for tenants to break their contract without being penalized, such as active duty; privacy violations; unsafe living environment; physical or mental harm (i.e., stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault). This post will explore legitimate ways to break a lease and what to do when termination is in that gray area. 


How To Get a Deposit Back

By Melanie Green

When someone prepares to rent a new place, saving money for move-in expenses are top priority. In addition to beating the odds of a competitive rental market, applicants must make sure their credit score is up to par and they have a decent rental history. 

Once those two boxes are checked off, a large portion of initial funds includes at least a month or two worth of rent and a security deposit. But what happens when the renter has a change of heart and wants the deposit back?

In this guide, learn about: 

  • Different types of deposits
  • Which deposits are refundable
  • Steps to take to increase the likelihood of getting a deposit back
  • How to avoid tension with a landlord, even when ending the lease early
  • Deadlines to receive deposits
  • Legal steps to get the deposit back

Regardless of which deposit is paid for and whether it’s refundable or not, all tenants should read through their leases to make sure deposited funds are kept in the landlord’s separate business account. Here’s what else is on a need-to-know basis.