Find Out How Security Deposits Work at Ultra-Upscale Rentals in Texas
Luxury apartment security deposits are one fee renters pay when it’s time to sign a new lease. Different than application fees and pet deposits, security deposits can be fully refundable — and they are not necessarily the same from one luxe rental community to the next.
Here’s how it all works, with answers to common questions about luxury apartment security deposits, including:
- What Is a Security Deposit?
- What Is the Average Luxury Apartment Security Deposit in Texas?
- What Is a Luxury Apartment Application Fee versus a Security Deposit?
- Can My Landlord Keep My Luxury Apartment Security Deposit?
- How Do I Get My Luxury Apartment Security Deposit Back?
This guide can walk you through the ins and outs of luxury apartment security deposits in ~2 minutes or less. Whenever you need free expert help from an experienced Texas apartment locator, contact Apartment Gurus.
What Is a Security Deposit?
A security deposit is money that a renter pays to a landlord to cover any property damage to a rental over the course of a lease. Paid when signing a lease, the security deposit is usually equal to the price of one or two months of rent.
Here’s how security deposits generally work when you’re the renter:
- You find a rental you want.
- You apply for the rental, submitting the application and any related fees.
- You are approved for the rental property after the application review.
- You review and sign the lease, paying your security deposit with your first rent payment.
- Your landlord holds onto the security deposit for the term of your lease.
- When your lease is up and you move out, your landlord does a “walk-through” of the rental, looking for any damage.
- If the landlord finds any damage that needs to be repaired, beyond standard “wear and tear,” the costs for those repairs will come out of the security deposit.
- Once those repairs are done, the rest of the security deposit should be returned to you, with an itemized list of any deductions from the deposit, so you can see what repairs were made (and what you paid for them). If no repairs are needed, you should get your security deposit returned in full.
Here, it’s crucial to point out that:
- The difference between a security deposit at a standard rental versus a luxury apartment is typically in the amount — higher-end rentals usually have higher security deposits than non-luxe apartments simply because upscale properties (and associated amenities) are usually pricier. So, any damage to a luxury apartment can come with higher repair costs. The security deposit reflects that.
- The lease should specify what happens to the security deposit and when a landlord may keep portions of it. So, be sure to read the fine print and make sure you’re agreeing to reasonable terms and not signing the deposit away when you sign a lease.
What Is the Average Luxury Apartment Security Deposit in Texas?
Landlords in Texas can set security deposits at whatever amount they want because state laws don’t restrict or define how much these deposits are.
Still, most Texas landlords stick to a general rule of thumb that pegs security deposits at one or two times the monthly rental rate for a given unit.
Example: Let’s say the monthly rent for a luxury apartment is $2,000. The associated security deposit for that unit will likely be $2,000 or $4,000.
Using the above example, this could mean that you put down $6,000 to $8,000 when you’re signing the lease because you’re paying for:
- First month’s rent ($2,000)
- Last month’s rent ($2,000)
- Your security deposit ($2,000 to $4,000)
What Is a Luxury Apartment Application Fee versus a Security Deposit?
Luxury apartment application fees and security deposits are both paid when you’re getting ready to rent a new apartment. Here’s the difference though:
- A luxury apartment application fee covers the costs of credit checks and application reviews. More of a “processing” cost, application fees for super-luxe apartments tend to be around $25 to $100. You don’t get these fees back whether or not you’re approved for the rental.
- A luxury apartment security deposit covers any repairs that may need to be made after you move out of a rental. Associated with potential property damage, security deposits for ultra-high-end rentals tend to be at least $1,000 or more. You can get these fees back when you move out of the apartment if you don’t leave behind damage that landlords need to repair (beyond normal “wear and tear”).
Can My Landlord Keep My Luxury Apartment Security Deposit?
Texas law entitles landlords to make certain deductions from security deposits — but that doesn’t mean that landlords get to automatically pocket part or all of your security deposit.
Instead, state law only permits landlords to keep portions of security deposits when:
- Rentals have been damaged and need to be repaired.
- The tenant hasn’t paid rent or some other fees owed to the landlord.
- The tenant has failed to abide by certain terms of the lease, like not moving out by a certain date.
Generally, landlords are supposed to send renters an itemized list of each deduction taken out of the security deposit, returning any remaining funds to renters.
How Do I Get My Luxury Apartment Security Deposit Back?
Knowing your renters’ rights, the law, and how security deposits work for luxury apartments in Texas is step one. Along with that knowledge, here are some actions you can take to get luxury apartment security deposits back in full (or to get back as much of your deposit as possible).
1. Do a pre-move-in walk-through.
Before you start moving furniture and boxes into your new super-luxe rental, do a pre-move-in inspection, looking for any existing damage. As you do this:
- Look for damage on walls, floors, and carpets. Check the functionality of appliances, doors, and door locks to make sure everything works, noting anything that doesn’t.
- Take pictures and/or videos to document the pre-move-in condition. Save these photos and videos, so you can access them when it’s move-out time.
- Point out any existing issues, problems, or damage to the landlord before you move in. This can give the landlord the chance to fix any damage before you’re in the unit; it can also help you get “official” documentation on the landlord’s records of the damage pre-existing your entry into the unit.
2. Pay your rent on time during the lease.
If you’re late on rent or you miss a rent payment, the terms of your lease could permit the landlord to keep portions of your security deposit to cover late fees or missed rent. On the other hand, if you stay on top of rent, paying on time, you can minimize the excuses at landlords’ disposal for keeping some or all of your security deposit.
3. Don’t put off apartment repairs while you reside in the unit.
Call maintenance and schedule repair work promptly so that you don’t end up moving out with a ton of damage that could have been fixed during the term of the lease.
While maintenance won’t paint the apartment before you move out, you could have meaningful repair work done on garbage disposals, dishwashers, toilets and showers, doors, and other aspects of apartments well before the move-out date arrives.
4. Clean when you leave.
After you move all of your furniture and personal items out of a luxury rental, clean the unit as thoroughly as possible. With this, don’t forget that:
- You can hire cleaning pros to do the work for you: This may be an ideal option if you’re short on time and you want to make sure the unit is left in exceptionally clean condition.
- You should take pictures after the cleaning: Whether you or someone else cleans the apartment, snap photos or record videos of the clean unit. This can give you “proof” of the condition you’ve left the unit in once you turn the keys over to the landlord.
5. Do a move-out inspection with your landlord.
Once you’ve finished moving out and cleaning the unit, ask your landlord for a walk-through inspection. During this check, you and your landlord will walk around the unit to look for any damage.
If your landlord will need to fix anything, using your security deposit, they should point it out during this walk-through. This essentially gives you one last chance to address any issues and turn the unit over damage-free, so you can get your security deposit back in full.
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