Tip of the Month - July 2008

The Brass Tacks of Managing Rentals

Source: Property Management for Dummies
Robert Griswold

Moving out Tenants

Tenants, particularly roommates or married couples in the midst of a separation or divorce, may fight amongst themselves over the security deposit.  Legally, the security deposit belongs equally to all Tenants who signed the lease or rental agreement, unless otherwise agreed in writing.  If you arbitrarily split the check between the Tenants, you can find yourself liable to the other party.

So always make your security deposit refund check payable jointly to all adult Tenants.  Then mail copies of your Security deposit Itemization form to each of the Tenants at their respective forwarding addresses.  Include the security deposit refund check to one of the Tenants with a copy of the check to the others.  Leave it up to the Tenants to handle the endorsement of the check.

However, if you have a court order or a written agreement or instructions signed by all tenants, you can handle the deposit as directed.

Although you may have worked very hard to make sure everything goes smoothly during your Tenant’s move-out, a few special situations inevitably arise.  And the more you know as a rental property owner about how to handle these situations, the less likely they are to become significant problems.

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This web page was updated on 06/30/2008.