Guide to Apartment Deposits

Tenants guide to apartment security

You’ve found an apartment that you love, your application was approved and now it’s time to sign the least. Yay! You’re almost there. Before the landlord hands over the keys, there is one more step – cash deposits.

Security deposit. A security deposit is a fee your landlord collects as a guarantee against future payment of rent and/or repairing any damages to the unit after you’ve moved out. Typically, a security deposit is equal to the first month’s rent. In some cases, the landlord may request both the first and last month’s rent in advance. In actuality, a landlord can charge whatever they want as a security deposit, however, most states have limitations. If you break your lease or cause excessive damage to the apartment, you will not get your security deposit back. If the landlord needs to make repairs to the unit and they are less than the amount of your security deposit, they will refund the balance to you.  So taking good care of your apartment while you’re living there is important as is cleaning up and repair any minor damages (like nails holes in the walls) when you move out.

Pet deposit. These days, practically all landlords charge a pet deposit. The amount varies and may be higher if you have more than one pet. The reasoning behind this charge is simple — the money will be applied to fixing any damages caused by your pet. You may also have to pay a monthly rental fee for your pet(s). A rough estimate is approximately $50-$100 a month. Also, regarding pets, most apartments have restrictions on the size of the animal and certain breeds.

Utility deposits. These deposits are usually required by individual utility companies and not a landlord, but they are worth mentioning. If you are renting your first apartment and have no history of paying utilities, you will be asked to pay a deposit for any utilities not included in your monthly rent, such as gas, electricity, water and trash.  The same applies if you have less-than-perfect credit.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and even if you have an established track record with utility companies, you could still be asked to pay a deposit when changing residences.

At Vision Communities, we are committed to creating the best apartment communities for you and your family. We feature multiple, pet-friendly apartment layouts, in desirable communities such as Westerville, Clintonville, and downtown Columbus. For more information about our communities, contact our team to get started.



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