One of the biggest sources of conflict in property management is the security deposit. More complaints are filed around this subject than anything else. Mistakes can be costly and time consuming, so make sure you understand what’s required.
Use a Trust AccountMany homeowners who manage their own properties typically don’t use a trust account. They’ll deposit the money in their own account and have the confidence that they’ll have the money when the resident moves out. This is not a good idea. We highly recommend an escrow trust account at a bank or through an attorney. Many attorneys will do it for a small fee, and it’s always better to have a professional handle this. The security deposit is someone else’s money. You are renting the property, but this money belongs to the resident until you can document why it does not.
Move In and Move OutDo a proper pre-move in inspection, and document everything. Take copious amounts of pictures and videos. This will be invaluable in helping you and the resident to make sure the home is in safe and excellent condition at both move in and move out. Here in South Carolina, normal wear and tear is expected. But other than that, many of the things tenants don’t want to be charged for are their responsibility. If you have the pictures and the videos, the move out process is seamless.
During move out, I like to meet the tenant at the property and go over everything. This is not always possible, but when it is, inspecting together is the best course of action. You can iron out any issues they may have in person. Again – document. We take pictures before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out, then we compare them.
Security Deposit TimelineIn South Carolina, all security deposit allocations must be done within 30 days. It’s the law and if you don’t do it, you will face strict penalties. As always, it’s a good idea to have a Greenville property management company help you. There are so many legalities, and you can get in trouble if you don’t know the laws. Let someone with years of experience help you.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Convergent Property Group with any questions about security deposits or property management in Greenville.