What can a landlord do after tenant used security deposit as last month’s rent and damaged property?

Q: What can I do if my tenant used their security deposit as their last month’s rent and then left the property damaged? — Brenda

A: The security deposit is supposed to be used to offset potential damage to your rental property and should not be used as rent.

Many landlords will collect both a security deposit and the last month’s rent when beginning a new lease to avoid this problem. The landlord must keep these deposits in a separate bank account and tell their tenant where the money is held.

When the time comes, the property owner may transfer the advance rent from that account to their “operating” account to be used as rent but may not transfer the security deposit to pay the rent if their tenant falls behind.

In your situation, when your tenant did not pay the final month, you could have demanded payment or started

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