If you're a Tulsa property owner, you always want to take the right measures to protect your investments.
One of the best ways to do this is by finding the best possible tenants using thorough screening techniques. At the end of the day, however, you never know how good a tenant is until they're living in the rental. That's why asking for a security deposit when a tenant moves in is always a good idea.
In this post, we're going to tell you everything you need to know about security deposits for your Tulsa property. You should never foot the bill when a tenant damages your property. Keep reading and you'll see that a secure deposit can be an elegant solution that helps you avoid any financial burden should repairs be necessary after a tenancy.
1. What Is a Security Deposit?
A security deposit is a form of insurance that you take out on your property when a tenant moves in. They'll pay the amount in full when they take possession of the apartment, along with the first month of rent.
It's designed to protect the landlord financially in the event of a tenant failing to pay rent, damaging the rental property, or violating any terms outlined in the lease. If any of these things occur, the landlord is entitled to keep some or all of the security deposit to make up for the missed rent or damages.
2. In Oklahoma, There's No Limit on Security Deposits
Some states have a limit on how much you can charge for a security deposit, but Oklahoma isn't one of those. Most landlords would charge anywhere from a half month of rent all the way up to 3 months.
Deciding how much to charge will depend on the type of tenants you're looking for. The more your security deposit costs the renter, the more you shrink the pool of interested applicants.
Charging a single month's rent will keep the list of applicants broad while deterring troublesome tenants from applying.
3. You Must Pay the Security Deposit Back Within 45 Days
Oklahoma security deposit law states that you must return the security deposit to the tenant within 30 days of them vacating the rental. If you're making deductions from the security deposit, you have to give the renter an itemized list of the damages that were deducted along with the remainder of the deposit (if applicable).
As a landlord, you have to familiarize yourself with the difference between normal wear and tear and damage caused by a tenant. Should the tenant disagree with your deductions, they may try to take you to small claims court. For that reason, it's important to document the damage and correspondence as best you can.
How Property Management Can Help
Now that you know a bit more about security deposits, it's time to tell you how property management can help you avoid any mishaps.
A property manager will understand the ins and outs of Oklahoma landlord-tenant laws, so you won't have to worry about any disputes between tenants. They'll also help you with tenant screening so that you don't have to deal with problem tenants in the first place.
To learn more about the best property management in Tulsa, contact us at Home River Group. We're a full-service property manager that can take all of the difficulties of being a property owner off of your plate.