If you are leasing property or have leased property in the past, you are certainly aware of the term security deposit. The last thing you want to do prior to paying your first month’s rent is handing your landlord an extra fee, but that’s the reality of renting property. A security deposit is essentially a sum of money that you give your landlord in addition to rent payments. It’s typically a one-time fee that is due before you begin your lease. The amount that your landlord asks for is often a reflection of your monthly rent. Many landlords will ask for the equivalent of one month’s rent as a security deposit. You might feel like it is a burden to have to pay additional money on top of application fees, rent, and utilities, but the security deposit is a pretty standard ask. If you feel like you need help with your security deposit or are looking for an expert in landlord-tenant law in NYC, contact the offices of Gary J. Wachtel today.
Now that we know what a security deposit is, let’s discuss the reasons why it exists. A security deposit is intended to protect landlords from damages caused by tenants. If there is damage to the property that was caused by the tenant, the landlord will use your security deposit to cover the repairs. If a tenant skips out on their rent and vacates the property without giving the landlord proper notice, they will keep the security deposit. The good thing about security deposits is that if your landlord doesn’t have to use it by the end of your lease term, you get it back! All the more incentive to take care of the property during your lease.
There are many issues that come up between tenants and landlords regarding security deposits. A tenant attorney in NYC commonly will have to deal with cases regarding security deposits. The most typical scenario is when a tenant believes they should receive their full security deposit back but the landlord is withholding it. Additionally, many landlords are known to take their sweet time in returning the deposit after the lease term has expired. We highly suggest taking a good thirty minutes for you and the representative of your landlord to inspect the property prior to moving in. Take thorough photos and notes of any existing damage or issues related to the property so that your landlord won’t hold your security deposit hostage later on down the road. If you are looking for more advice related to security deposits, get in contact with expert housing lawyers in NYC at the offices of Gary J. Wachtel.