What Do Landlords Need to Know about Security Deposits?

What Do Landlords Need to Know about Security Deposits?

Portland, Oregon is such a desirable place to live because of the booming job market, highly-rated public schools, and diverse culture.

Investing in Portland real estate is a great way to generate passive income because so many people want to live there. As an investor, you can protect your assets by charging a security deposit, but there are laws you need to follow.

Keep reading to learn what to know about security deposits in Oregon.

Security Deposit Collection

Landlords are required to follow certain laws when collecting security deposits in Oregon. The requirements protect the rights of tenants to ensure they are treated fairly. Landlords must do the following to stay compliant:

  • Provide a written receipt
  • Hold security deposits in separate accounts
  • Return security deposits 31 days after the tenancy
  • Provide itemized statements for deductions
  • Document property damages before deductions

Unlike rent collection, security deposits should not be stored in your business bank account.

Maximum Security Deposit Amount

Certain states regulate how much you can charge tenants for security deposits. Oregon landlords can charge any amount.

Although there is no restriction on how much a landlord can charge, it's important to stay fair. Tenants won't want to live on your property if they feel you are charging too much for a security deposit.

The standard security deposit amount across the industry is equal to one or two months' rent. You may choose to charge more for a riskier tenant.

Pet Security Deposits

One of your landlord responsibilities involves complying with the Fair Housing Act. Collecting security deposits for pets can complicate things.

Legally, landlords cannot charge a pet security deposit for service animals or emotional support animals. You must make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities.

A landlord can, however, require a pet deposit for pets that aren't companions or service animals. If you allow pets in a rental property, a pet deposit will protect you from pet damages and complaints.

Security Deposit Deductions

A property manager can help you make legal security deposit deductions to avoid losing rental income from tenant damages.

Landlords can make deductions for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear. You can also deduct from the security deposit to cover unpaid rent by the tenant once they move out.

Under Oregon law, you must provide an itemized list of deductions within 31 days of the tenant's move-out date. Tenants can request pre-move-out inspections to identify issues that need handling before they leave the property.

This level of transparency helps landlords handle security deposits appropriately.

Handling Security Deposits in Portland, Oregon

Handling security deposits in Portland doesn't have to be complicated. By familiarizing yourself with the local laws, you can stay compliant as a landlord.

Security deposits will help you protect your investment against bad tenants if you handle them right.

PMI Bridgetown has over 20 years of property management experience in the local area. We know the ins and outs of the laws and stay up to date with the latest trends.

Let us help you increase your investment's value with our full-service property management services. Fill out our form to learn more about what we have to offer today.