What Can I Do with a Security Deposit?

Security Deposits are there when you need them, that is, so long as you use them correctly. It only takes common sense to realize that a tenant should be charged if they punch a hole through a door, put a pair of underwear down a toilet that causes a flood, or accidentally runs their car into the garage door leaving it completely mangled and needing to be replaced, (These are all events that we have seen), but what about some of the more common occurrences?

In this short Q&A article we will go over some of the top “questionable” charges.

Nail Holes

You can only charge for nail holes in the event that the nail holes are deemed “excessive”. A tenant has the right to decorate their home in a way that makes them comfortable, which can include hanging pieces of art or pictures frames. This does not mean that a tenant can move the same painting around on a wall 50 times until they get it just in the right spot, this would be considered excessive, and the tenant would be charged for the drywall repairs.

Broken Blinds

Can I charge for broken blinds? That depends, did you just install the plastic blinds in a window that is directly hit by the Phoenix sun? If so, absolutely not. The sun will damage these blinds leaving them to be replaced again, but if you installed faux wood blinds and a tenant’s cat had a field day with them, we are free to collect from the security deposit.


Yes, you can charge for paint, so long as you do it by the recommended schedule by HUD. HUD states that we are allowed to PRORATE paint for the life of 5 years.  So, what does this mean? This means that if you paint a home right before a tenant moves in for their 2 years lease, you can only charge for the prorated amount of 3 years if the whole house needs to be painted upon their vacancy. This would equate to 60% of the painting bill.

We here at Alter Property Management are always here to help any of our clients that would like further clarification on Security Deposit Issues.

Written by Tiffany Gomm – 2.23.2021

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