If you’re looking to buy a rental property, the prospect of putting your investment in the hands of a new tenant can be a scary thing.
Even after you’ve run credit and background checks, contacted references, and conducted a successful interview, you still can’t be certain that tenants will leave your property the way they found it.
The possibility of a tenant nightmare story is always looming because it simply comes with the territory of being a landlord. After all, you don’t want someone else depreciating your property’s value should you decide to sell.
That’s why it’s imperative for you to do everything you can to ensure that there are no discrepancies between your standards and a tenant when it comes to getting their security deposit back.
In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about accepting a new tenant to your rental property and the security deposit deductions list you'll need to have in place to protect you from eating the costs of potential damage.
How Do You Ensure Your Tenant Takes Care of Your Rental Property?
In many cases, the thought of losing a security deposit can be enough to inspire a tenant to check off all of the boxes when it comes to being a respectful renter before they turn their keys back over to you. But, in order for the tenant to have a full understanding of what that list entails, you’re going to need to give it to them and outline all of the details.
After you’ve done so, create an itemized list that clearly states the estimated deductions from their security deposit that they can expect once you’ve performed your inspection of the property upon their moving out.
What to Include in Your Tenant Security Deposit Deductions List
Below is a suggested tenant security deposit deductions list that you should put in the hands of any tenants before they move into your rental property.
This list details all aspects of the property that they will be responsible for maintaining, along with an estimated amount to be deducted from their security deposit should they fail to do so.
It should be noted to the tenant that the main purpose of this list is to form a mutual understanding between renter and landlord of potential tenant deposit deductions, and the prices will vary. There are a number of factors that will affect the estimated costs of the various potential damages, but you can use this one as a rough template and adjust your own based on your personal knowledge of your rental property, local prices, and repair costs.
- Clean ceiling fan: $25
- Wash windows (interior, including tracks): $20
- Wash light fixtures: $15 each
- Floor cleaning (mop, vacuum, sweep): $60
- Carpet cleaning (normal): $150
- Carpet cleaning (deep clean): $200
- Carpet cleaning (spot clean): $15 each
- Pest or rodent extermination: $150
- Drywall repair: 6”x 6” hole: $75, 12” x 12” hole: $125, 24” x 24” hole: $150
- Repair kitchen cabinet: $150
- Repair kitchen drawer: $150
- Fill nail holes: $25
- Repaint one room: $300
- Labor costs (general): $25-$50 per hour
- Labor costs (specialty): $75-$100 per hour
- Replace doorknob (interior): $25
- Replace door lock (exterior): $50
- Replace interior door: $100
- Replace exterior door: $250
- Replace door keys: $20
- Replace carbon monoxide detector: $75
- Replace carbon monoxide detector batteries: $25
- Replace smoke detector: $75
- Replace smoke detector batteries: $25
- Replace carpet: $3 per square foot
- Replace flooring: $5 per square foot
- Change light bulb: $5 each
- Replace window screen: $40 per window
- Replace window blinds: $40 per window
General Room Cleaning
- Floor cleaning (mop, vacuum, sweep): $60
- Wall cleaning: $30
- Cabinets/countertop cleaning: $60
- Oven cleaning: $50
- Stove/range cleaning: $50
- Microwave cleaning: $30
- Drip pan replacement: $25
- Vent hood cleaning: $30
- Refrigerator/freezer cleaning: $55
- Dishwasher cleaning: $50
- Sweep/mop floors: $25
- Clean walls: $25
- Bathtub/shower cleaning: $50
- Toilet cleaning: $20
- Sink cleaning: $20
- Wipe down countertops/cabinets/walls: $30
- Floor cleaning: $30
Yard Care/Trash Removal
- Mow lawn: $50
- Weed property: $75
- Trim bushes: $75
- Remove trash: $100 per load
If some of the prices on this list seem a bit inflated, that’s sort of the point. You’re not just estimating the average cost of the listed items, you’re providing the tenant with the necessary motivation to ensure that they take their responsibilities as a renter seriously. The premium pricing should not be an issue for anybody if the listed tasks are performed by the one whose security deposit is at stake.
Save Thousands When You Buy Your First Rental Property
There are a ton of questions you should ask yourself before buying a home your first rental property to rent out. Hopefully this list has answered at least one of them for you!
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