Any time you rent an apartment or a home you expect a security deposit to be required. While apartment security deposits tend to be much lower, often times they are not refundable upon move-out. The small amount required as a “security deposit” generally ends up as the expense the apartment company claims for cleaning it once you move out. This isn’t always the case so it’s important to be clear on these matters when you move in.
Each state holds its own laws in regards to security deposits. In Arizona landlords may charge up to 1 ½ times the rental fee as a security deposit. Usually security deposits are equal to one months rent since it may be hard to find renters who can afford any more than that. With all the other expenses that go into moving, charging the max security deposit may just price you out of the market. Keep that in mind if you have a rental property you are having a hard time renting. On the other hand if your goal is to attract a market within a higher income bracket then setting the security deposit higher may be a way to achieve this.
As a renter, you should know your rights when you move out regarding the security deposit. Unfortunately, in Arizona the law favors landlords for the most part. By this law, landlords have 14 days to return a security deposit. In addition, they can return an amount they deem fair after their own assessment of the property upon your move-out. As long as they also submit an itemized list of expenses in the way of repairs or cleaning they had to do as a result of your tenancy, they can basically return any amount they see fit. A notice of a walk-thru of the property must be scheduled giving you the opportunity to be present. Showing up for this is strongly recommended as it gives you an opportunity to challenge anything that the landlord would have otherwise deducted from the security deposit, despite that it was like that when you moved in.