Renting your first apartment is an exciting experience, and one of the first things you’ll encounter is a security deposit. This is an extremely important part of the rental process, and often, a substantial amount of money. It’s important to know exactly what a deposit is and how it works so that you get your money back from the property management company when your lease is up.

Everything You Need to Know About Security Deposits

What Are They?

A security deposit is money that a property management company will use to cover any damages to the apartment that are discovered when you move out. The deposit is often equal to the cost of monthly rent and is submitted when you sign your lease. It’s then held until the end of the lease. The property management company will perform an inspection once you move out and then determine if any of the deposit needs to be used.

How Do They Work?

The security deposit covers damages that are the tenant’s fault. This may include holes in the wall, having to repaint walls, damage to a yard or outdoor space, and any other issues caused by the tenant that lower the value and appeal of the unit.

property-management-munson-realty-incThis doesn’t include what the landlord is responsible for, such as plumbing or electrical issues, unless they were directly caused by the tenant. Once an issue is discovered, the property management company will consult with a contractor and get an estimate for the repair cost. They’ll then deduct this from the security deposit.

How Do You Ensure You Get Yours Back?

When you move out, you need to leave the apartment exactly as you found it. Clean thoroughly, touch up paint and holes where nails or screws were, and if you’ve painted a room, cover it with a coat of white paint. Often, there will be guidelines in the lease of what state the property management company expects the apartment to be in when you move out.

An important step tenants forget is to document any existing damage before they move in. As soon as you get the keys, walk through the unit and take pictures of any damage to appliances, flooring, walls, and other areas. Share these with the property management company so they know they weren’t your fault.


If you’re looking for an apartment to rent in the La Crosse, WI, area, Munson Realty, Inc. maintains a wide portfolio to choose from. This property management company is family-owned and -operated and has served the area for over 25 years. They tailor to all tenants and offer student housing, apartments and houses for rent, and more—all of which you can explore on their website. Call (608) 785-7187 to speak with a representative and connect on Facebook for news and updates.