Security deposits are not rent
Although laws regarding them are quite clear, a lot of landlords seem to forget that security deposits are to protect against property damage. Upon the termination of a lease, if a tenant returns the property in the same condition as when they moved it, the deposit has to be returned to them. Deposits are not rent and cannot be kept without cause. Following recent local headlines on the matter and a court decision against a landlord in Iowa last month, which ended in a 20-year sentence for deposit fraud, it’s never a bad time to reevaluate your security deposit handling practices.