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What Can Cost You Your Security Deposit?

When you complete a rental application, you are required to submit a first month’s rent and a security deposit, usually in the amount of one month’s rent. This security deposit is not used as your last month’s rent, it is held as collateral in case there is damage to the rental unit. If, following a move-out inspection, all is determined to be well, the security deposit is returned to the tenant within 45 days. The tenant has the right to be present at the final inspection.


Normal wear and tear is taken into consideration during an inspection, and the inspector will note anything that is not considered “normal.”

According to Propman Property Management’s guidelines, tenant damage can include:

Carpet stains

Cigarette burns

Wall and ceiling damage caused by tenant

Damage to HVAC system caused by a dirty or clogged filter

Water damage caused by plants or leaving windows open during rainstorms

Broken windows

Damaged doors

Damaged or missing blinds

Pet urine stains

Broken refrigerator shelf

Stopped-up toilet

Other reasons to withhold the return of your security deposit could include out-of-pocket expenses for items that were tenant responsibilities, cleaning fees, and replacement costs to include:

Dirty appliances, sinks, tub/shower, surfaces

Excessive filth

Gutter cleaning

Fireplace cleaning

Lawn and shrub maintenance

Burned out light bulbs and inoperable batteries for smoke detectors

Loss of garage door openers

Clean out of trash or left-behind items

Key replacement

Each lease list lists requirements that are a tenant’s responsibility. In addition to maintaining those items, tenants should strive to keep a clean and healthy household, respecting the property and its contents. We don’t like having to hold a security deposit and encourage our tenants to report any problems as soon as they happen to avoid future damage.

If you are looking to rent a property in Northern Virginia, please review Propman’s list of Available Properties.

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