Security Deposits in Murfreesboro, Tennessee: A Guide for Landlords

Security Deposits in Murfreesboro, Tennessee: A Guide for Landlords

The Nashville area has seen over 13,000 eviction filings in the past year alone.

If you're a Murfreesboro landlord, you never want to have to evict one of your tenants. Doing so ignites a long, drawn-out process that creates stress and exhaustion for everyone involved. It's important to do everything you can to prevent evictions in any of your units.

There are a couple of essential ways to do this - perform thorough tenant screening and ask for security deposits. In today's post, we'll explain the role and importance of security deposits for landlords. Keep reading and you'll be able to protect your property tangibly.

What Are Security Deposits?

Security deposits are essentially a form of insurance for landlords against the actions of their tenants. You collect them at the start of a tenancy and return them when the tenancy ends. If your tenant has cost you money by damaging your property or failing to pay rent, you reimburse yourself out of their deposit.

Typically, security deposits are collected when you perform a move-in inspection with the tenant. These types of inspections allow you to make note of any existing damage in the property, protecting the tenant from paying for someone else's damage and protecting landlords from having to pay for new damage.

Tennessee Security Deposit Laws

Every state has unique laws around security deposits to protect tenant rights. Unlike other states, there's no limit on how much a Tennessee landlord can charge their tenants for a security deposit.

That said, charging too much for a security deposit will drive perfectly good renters away from applying for your rental. Most landlords charge the equivalent of 1-2 months' rent so that their tenants aren't breaking the bank.

The only real rule is that you must return the deposit within 30 days of the end of the tenancy. It's also stated that you cannot mix the security deposit with your other funds - it must be kept in a separate bank account.

Withholding Security Deposits

Landlords must understand the difference between normal wear in a rental and legitimate damage. If you try to withhold a tenant's damage deposit because of normal wear and tear, they'll have the opportunity to dispute your claims in court.

Damage includes things like large holes in walls, broken windows, damaged appliances, pet stains in carpets, and the like. When you have damage like this, document it and keep the receipts for repairs. You'll need to give the tenant an itemized list of deductions when you withhold a security deposit.

How Property Management Can Help

Now that you understand how security deposits work, you can better protect your investment property. It can still be awkward and difficult to withhold a security deposit. In these situations, it's best to hire a property manager to do it for you.

At PMI Professionals, we can help you manage every aspect of your Murfreesboro rental property, including tenant management. We'll perform tenant screening and even evict poor tenants when needed. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how they can make your life as a landlord simpler.