What is the purpose of a deposit for an apartment?

The security deposit is basically an added security measure, says SF Gate. It’s another layer of protection for landlords. So when one of the tenants violate the terms of the lease contract or do something that results in damages to the unit, then the landlord ends up keeping the deposit in compliance with the terms of the contract or use it to cover the cost of repairs.

How much security deposit is enough?

Set the amount to one or two months of your rental rate. That’s the average rate for a security deposit.

How does it work?

The landlord keeps the deposit in an escrow account. Don’t think it’s just lying around in his bank account. If the deposit accrues any interest, then that interest goes to you. If the lease is up and you choose not to renew, then the landlord must return your security deposit. So if you didn’t violate any terms of the contract, if the apartment didn’t suffer wear and tear beyond the normal sort, you can expect your security deposit to be returned to you upon the termination of the lease agreement. However, if your landlord can prove that you violated any of the conditions, terms and stipulations in the contract—being late with your payments, having pets inside your home—or if your stay leave the apartment in a less-than-stellar condition, then you probably won’t see that money again.

Other tips?

You might also have to pay for other nonrefundable fees and deposits. Some states might prohibit these charges though, so consult with a security deposit lawyer in your area for help and assistance. Whether it’s about figuring out what the state security deposit law is or if one is legal in your state, a lawyer can make things easier to understand and more convenient for you.