Florida landlords don't have a limit on the amount of the security deposit that they can charge new tenants. Despite this, there are still laws in place that regulate the collection and depositing of security deposits.
It's easy to lose track of security deposits if you don't have a plan for collecting them. In this guide, we cover three tips on collecting a security deposit from your tenants. Keep reading to learn them.
1. Put Everything in Writing
A lease agreement should include various details for the renter to discover, including the amount of the security deposit and rent payments. Local laws may also force you to specify where the security deposit is held.
Most states require landlords to keep rent payments and security deposits in separate accounts. You can open a separate bank account for each rental unit to make things easier and ensure you are accruing interest for the tenant.
The lease agreement should also state when the security deposit is due. This date should be before the tenant moves in.
Collect the security deposit and first month's rent after signing the lease but before handing off the keys to the new renters. The funds should be available in your account before proceeding with the move-in.
2. Collect Security Deposits Online
Collecting a security deposit and making sure it ends up in the right place can be tricky. To stay organized, it's recommended to collect security deposits and rent payments online.
You can use rental payment apps or property management software for security deposits and rent collection. If you hire a property management company, they will have a tenant portal where tenants can make online payments with ease.
Some of the benefits of collecting funds online are:
- Tenants can pay with a credit card, debit card, or ACH payments
- Apps and software send out automated reminders
- Tenants can set up automatic payments
- Landlords can directly collect security deposits
- Late fees and prorated rent are automatically calculated
Understanding how to collect a security deposit can help you streamline the process and stay within the laws.
3. Collect Security Deposits and Rent Separately
Although you can use the same collection methods to receive tenant security deposits and rent payments, you should collect each separately.
It's easy to get funds confused when tenants pay their security deposit and first months' rent at the same time. After signing the lease, organize payments and keep track of the separate funds.
Not only will this keep you more organized, but state laws regulate how landlords need to handle security deposits. If you collect the security deposit online, make sure you transfer it to the appropriate account.
If you use an app or software program, it should be able to automatically identify security deposits and transfer them.
Collecting a Security Deposit: The Bottom Line
These security deposit tips will help you stay compliant and organized. When you put everything in writing, collect deposits online, and separate a security deposit from a rent payment, you will streamline the process.
To stay compliant in handling funds, hire a rental property management company that can help. Contact us to learn more about our services now.