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Tip #174: Damage Control

Deductions taken from a tenant’s security deposit remain one of the top causes of  legal disputes between tenants and landlords.

One way to diffuse a tenant’s anger over loosing deposit funds is to share with them a detailed itemization for each deduction.  If they realize that the numbers are legitimate, they are less likely to think you are being unfair.

On the other hand, a general accounting with estimates, padded figures rounded numbers, or a lump sum with no explanation is far more likely to encourage a tenant to seek legal help.  A tenant lawyer who sees a general accounting with no supporting documentation may view the landlord as legally vulnerable to a claim for wrongful withholding of the deposit. They may want to dig deeper.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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