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  1. #1
    lester9917 is offline Junior Member
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    Tenant Not Paying Security Deposit

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana

    I agreed for my tenants to pay their security deposit in three payments for the first three months. (Bad idea and I know it now!) The tentants were late (rent & sd) on the first month of lease and were charged the appointed late fee. It is now the second month and they paid their rent on time but still have not paid the security deposit that was due in Sept. They emailed me and stated that I would not receive the payment until mid October. Note: They have the last installment due in Oct. It is now Oct 1st and I think it is unlikely I will receive the payment for Octobers now.

    What are my rights as a landlord? Can I charge them the late fee for not getting the security dep in time? Can I threaten eviction and proceed that way? Are these payments liable just like rent? In the lease it states the month security deposit is due and the total payment amount of both that "is rent for those said months".
  2. #2
    acmb05 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lester9917 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana

    I agreed for my tenants to pay their security deposit in three payments for the first three months. (Bad idea and I know it now!) The tentants were late (rent & sd) on the first month of lease and were charged the appointed late fee. It is now the second month and they paid their rent on time but still have not paid the security deposit that was due in Sept. They emailed me and stated that I would not receive the payment until mid October. Note: They have the last installment due in Oct. It is now Oct 1st and I think it is unlikely I will receive the payment for Octobers now.

    What are my rights as a landlord? Can I charge them the late fee for not getting the security dep in time? Can I threaten eviction and proceed that way? Are these payments liable just like rent? In the lease it states the month security deposit is due and the total payment amount of both that "is rent for those said months".
    Yes. you can serve notice to pay or quit and then evict if they do not pay.
  3. #3
    CA LL is offline Senior Member
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    You will need to check YOUR state laws...in many states only RENT can be evicted using a pay/quit. Some use "cure or quit or perform or quit" notices with different time periods for other breaches.

    Worse, the agreement you have in place may imply the SD was paid at move in. And you should never hand over keys until ALL money is paid (FULL first month's rent plus FULL SD) via CERTIFIED funds. And then in the tenancy, the FIRST hint of a problem, appropriate legal action should be taken so the court does not look at it like you implied acceptance of the breach by your non action.

    Get together all of your documents and call an EVICTION LAW FIRM in your area (call a local LL association for a referral). For a fixed fee of probably less than $200 plus costs they will handle this matter for you according to YOUR state laws. Unpaid SD is NOT the same as unpaid rent. SOME agreements are allowed in SOME states to apply money paid to outstanding balance even if something else, other states, it is completely illegal.
  4. #4
    aabbcc is offline Member
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    Oct 2007
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    1.) If they didn't have the SD money before move-in, it's unlikely they will have it after move-in. Especially with all the expenses associated with moving.

    2.) They likely have bad credit if they are unable to meet their obligations. At the very least, housing payments are probably at the bottom of their priorities. Do you know their FICO score?

    3.) Others posters made a valid point about SD not being rent. This may complicate eviction.

    You probably need an attorney.
  5. #5
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    And, to address another one of your questions:
    You cannot charge a late fee for the unpaid security deposit, as it is not rent. You *may* have been able to insert language in to your contract stating otherwise, but I'm fairly confident that you didn't.

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