How do security deposits work?

Caretaker provides an escrow service for security deposits. We manage escrowing the deposit, claims, dispute resolution and payouts.

What happens if no one did an inspection?

Caretaker recommends listers document the state of their apartment prior to moving out. This includes any existing damage and any personal items (e.g., TVs, bedding, furniture, etc.) they may be leaving behind. Caretaker cannot evaluate claims for missing or damaged personal items that were not documented at the beginning of the sublease.

What can I make a claim for?

As long as your claim complies with local laws (which vary from state to state) Caretaker can evaluate claims for actual and measurable damage to your unit. Caretaker will not evaluate claims for any personal items or furnishings that did not come with the apartment, e.g., bedding, artwork, dishes, etc. For each claim, you must:

  • Clearly demonstrate that your renter is responsible for the damage. This is typically best accomplished through before and after photos/videos.
  • Provide an exact cost for repair/replacement (from a reputable third party). This can be in the form of: a receipt/invoice, a formal written estimate, or a link to a store website.

Security deposits generally do not cover wear and tear, i.e., the gradual deterioration of a rental over time due to the impact of someone living there.

How do I make a claim?

You can do this from your lease dashboard.

  • Click your tenant's name.
  • Under Claims, click File claim.
  • You'll be prompted to include a description of your claim. Be sure to describe the full context of the claim and repair/replacement costs. Additionally, please upload any relevant evidence of the damage. Evidence may include: communication with your renter, before & after photos, professional estimates, receipts, and/or anything else you feel is relevant. At a minimum, you must include evidence that your renter is responsible for the damage costs and proof of specific repair/replacement costs.

Note: To enter decimal values, type out the full dollar amount somewhere else, e.g., 240.48, and copy/paste it into the Claim amount box.

What is the process after I make a claim?

We'll reach out to your renter to see if they accept the claim and allow them one week to respond. They'll have an opportunity to dispute the claim and provide their own evidence if they wish.

After one week, Caretaker will evaluate the evidence provided by you and your renter. If your claim is approved, we'll issue a payout to you and send the remainder of the security deposit to your renter. Caretaker may approve your claim for a different amount than the one you entered.

If your claim is not approved, your renter will receive their full security deposit back.

Can you give me an example claim?

Here’s a a claim that fits neatly into our policies:

Claim: Renter left a hole in the north wall of the bedroom. The hole was ~1 foot in diameter and was ~3 feet off the ground.

Evidence: Before and after photos showing the hole appeared during the rental period.

Repair/Replacement Cost: Itemized invoice from local home repair company for the repair.

How long does it take to get my payout once my claim is approved?

You'll receive a payout in 3-4 business days.

How long do I have to make a claim after the end of the lease?

Your renter's security deposit will be automatically released fourteen days after the last day of the lease. You must make any claims before this date. Caretaker is unable to extend this claim period.

What if I want to refund my renter's deposit early?

No problem - just shoot a request over to our support team.

Did you find this to be helpful?

Related questions

Ready to get started?

List your first rental or request a demo of our software.