Skip to main content

Austin Property Manager Blog


What Do Landlords in Austin, TX, Need to Know about Security Deposits?

What Do Landlords in Austin, TX, Need to Know about Security Deposits?

Austin has seen nearly 10,000 eviction filings in the last year alone.

If you're an Austin landlord, you don't strive to evict a tenant. It's when they put your property and livelihood at risk that you need to take action. That being said, there are measures you can take to protect your investment and avoid poor tenant behavior in the first place.

Firstly, you should always screen your tenants to make sure you've got responsible people in your units. Secondly, always get security deposits.

In today's post, we'll tell you what you need to know about security deposits, how to collect them, and when to deduct from them. Keep reading and you'll have the insurance you need as a landlord.

How Security Deposits Work

Rental security deposits are a form of insurance paid by your tenants. They protect against any costly actions that your tenant may take, such as failing to pay rent or causing damage to your rental unit.

Most of the time, you'll collect a security deposit as you perform a move-in inspection with the tenant. During this, you'll walk through the unit to check for any existing damage. This process protects both parties - it protects the tenant from having to pay for damage they didn't cause and protects the landlord if a tenant causes damage.

Texas Landlord-Tenant Law

Unlike some other states, there's no limit on how much a Texan landlord can charge for a security deposit. You must be careful, however, as charging too much can drive away qualified tenants from applying for your unit. Most landlords will charge between 1-2 months' rent as a deposit.

Once a tenant moves out, you've got 30 days to return all of the security deposit. If you're making deductions, you'll need to give the tenant an itemized list of the deductions and their associated costs.

Security Deposit Deductions

Most commonly, you'll make deductions for missed rent payments or damage caused to the property. At the end of a tenancy, you perform the same inspection that you did at the start. If there's any new damage, the cost of repairs comes out of the damage deposit.

Your tenant may take issue with some of the deductions. For this reason, it's important to gather as much evidence as possible of the damage itself, as well as the receipts for the repairs. If they try to fight your charges, you'll be prepared with all of the evidence you need.

How a Property Management Service Can Help

Security deposits are a fantastic deterrent and insurance policy against delinquent tenants. Of course, if you do your due diligence with tenant screening, there's little chance that you'll have to make any deductions. To make sure you're doing your due diligence, you may need a property manager.

The result of property management is a more professional atmosphere and more passive income. At Monte Davis Property Management Services, we offer comprehensive property management at an affordable cost to Austin landlords.

To learn how we can help with security deposits, contact us today.