Using security deposit as last month’s rent

By Tenant

The moment you move in the rental unit fees like security deposit, pet fees and last and first month’s rent are being paid to the landlord. These fees work like an insurance for the landlord if ever the tenant decides to leave the rental unit without going through the legal process of giving a written notice first.

If you paid the last month’s rent your landlord must give you a receipt labelled as your last month rent’s payment thus making you not liable to pay for your last month. If other case occur such as you wanting to use the security deposit as your last month’s rent then you have to ask your landlord if that is okay with him. If he allows it then you have to put it in writing. It is very risky to assume that you can skip paying your last month’s rent just because you paid for a security deposit. Here is why:

  • Forcing your landlord to use your security deposit to cover up for your rent oftentimes leaves your landlord short of cash when it comes to paying for any repairs or replacing missing items in your rental unit. Forcing him will only make things worse so never expect him giving you a good reference to your next landlord.
  • Once the payments for your monthly rent stops, your landlord may still serve you a written notice to pay or quit and may even file an eviction lawsuit after and it doesn’t matter if you informed him ahead of time of your intention to leave.
  • Once you attempt using your security deposit as your last month’s rent without your landlord’s permission then you may have to face penalties set forth by your state laws.

Payment for your last month’s rent in most states is oftentimes considered as a part of your security deposit. So if your state limits the security deposit to twice the monthly rent then your landlord cannot collect more than that.

Edited on: Saturday, April 13th, 2013 1:32 am

15 Responses to “Using security deposit as last month’s rent”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


April 13th, 2013 1:40 am

Meaning I can use my security deposit if my landlord allowed it?


April 13th, 2013 12:00 pm

So basically if I asked the landlord to use my security deposit as my last month’s rent


April 13th, 2013 10:20 pm

I did not know I can actually do that. Thanks for the info!


April 14th, 2013 8:40 am

I think there are some states that allow security deposit for last month’s pay that is if you leave the unit spotless.


April 14th, 2013 7:00 pm

Security deposit is security deposit. Last month’s pay is different


April 15th, 2013 5:20 am

Yeah. I agree


April 15th, 2013 3:40 pm

I usually give my tenants the liberty of doing this. On certain conditions that is.


April 16th, 2013 2:00 am

Anything is possible if both landlord and tenant agree.


April 16th, 2013 12:20 pm

Some states do not allow this.


April 16th, 2013 10:40 pm

It’s better to leave the security deposit alone. It is there for a purpose.


April 17th, 2013 9:00 am

I totally agree with the post above.


April 17th, 2013 7:20 pm

This is a good post. Kudos to OP!


April 18th, 2013 5:40 am

I always require a security deposit and a last month’s pay. To take off confusion.


April 18th, 2013 4:00 pm

Things can be messy when it comes to this issue.


April 19th, 2013 2:20 am

I agree


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