Security Deposits in Denton, Texas: A Guide for Landlords

Security Deposits in Denton, Texas: A Guide for Landlords

Since March of 2023, there have been over 120,000 eviction filings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

If you're a Denton landlord, you never want to be part of a statistic like this. There's nothing easy about evicting a tenant, so you need to take every measure to prevent it from happening in the first place.

One way to do that is to charge all of your new tenants security deposits at the start of a tenancy. In today's post, we'll explain the rules and regulations around security deposits and how to implement them into your landlord process. Keep reading and you'll be able to protect your property.

What Are Security Deposits?

Security deposits are a form of insurance for landlords when new tenants enter the fold. Even with great tenant screening practices, you never know how a tenant is going to act until they're in the unit. It's for that reason that you should always charge a security deposit.

When a new tenant signs a lease agreement, you'll collect the security deposit and perform a move-in inspection with them. During this, you'll go through a rental inspection checklist, making note of any existing damage in the property.

At the end of the tenancy, you'll do the same inspection. Any new damage is presumed to have been caused by the tenant and the repairs are taken out of the security deposit. They can also cover missed rental payments or outstanding utility bills.

Security Deposit Laws in Texas

While Texas places value on tenant rights, there aren't as many rules around security deposits as other states. For example, there's no limit on how much you can charge for a security deposit in Texas.

That said, you should never charge an exorbitant amount because you'll drive quality tenants away from applying for your unit. Stick to charging the equivalent of 1-2 months' rent, which is standard practice for most good landlords.

The only real rule centers around returning the deposit. You must do so within 30 days of the end of the tenancy, along with an itemized list of the deductions that you've made (if any).

Withholding Security Deposits

If you choose to withhold some or all of your former tenant's security deposit, it's in your best interest to keep receipts and evidence. Your tenant may dispute your claims and take you to court if the withheld money is significant.

As a landlord, it's important to understand the difference between normal wear and actual damage. Things that are classified as legitimate damage include large holes in the walls, burnt carpet, pet stains, and smashed windows. Any unpaid rent or utilities can be removed from the security deposit as well.

How Property Management Can Help

Security deposits are essential for protecting your property from unruly tenants. Along with tenant screening, a security deposit can help you deter poor tenants from entering your property. It can be difficult to deal with security deposit deductions, however.

If you want to avoid contentious tenant relationships, property management can help. PMI United is Denton's top comprehensive property manager, offering a wide range of services. Contact us today to learn how we can help you maximize your property.