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What is a Security Deposit?

Alcove Team | 9/14/21

What is a Security Deposit?

What is a Security Deposit

When renting an apartment, there are many fees involved. Many landlords request first and last month’s rent, a rental fee, and a security deposit.

Some may ask for more or less, but it’s fairly uncommon you’ll rent an apartment without a security deposit. Because of this, you should know everything about them. 

What it Is 

A security deposit is a set amount of money (it usually ranges between one and two months rent) that renters pay their landlord before moving in.

Following their lease, renters will receive their security deposit in part of or in its full amount. This is based on the landlord and what they request. 

Why it Exists 

Security deposits exist as extra security for landlords. You may be the most put-together, upstanding renter they’ve ever had, but they still need to hold onto backup money.

This is in the event that a renter breaks something in the house, or if the place is a pigsty when renters move out. 

Who Pays It 

Everyone living in the apartment should pay a portion of the security deposit. Those who sign the lease will pay it before they move in.

If someone rents their place out on a sublet, it’s on them to determine whether or not they want them to pay some of the security deposit. 

When to Expect Security Deposit Return 

Renters should expect their security deposit about one month after moving out. This gives the landlord time to go through the apartment, get things fixed and clean, and determine how much they’ll give back.

Because of this, renters should take pictures of everything in the apartment upon moving in and out. If the landlord lies about something, it can be fought with those pictures. 


Security deposits make moving into apartments much more expensive. That being said, landlords need that security.

When renters get a big sum of money after moving out, it can feel quite liberating and exciting, and can often contribute to the security deposit at a new place.

Thankfully, Alcove only requires a security deposit of $300, and a move-in fee of $300. Rather than requiring the full amount of your first month's rent, Alcove has enabled an easier and more affordable way to find your next home. Apply to one of our listings today!