Security deposits on our vacation homes are charges paid by the guests and held by us to cover any damages or other issues related to occupancy of one of our homes.
Security deposits, when required, cover damage, and wear and tear or cleaning that are beyond the norm as solely determined by our local management companies in conjunction with our owners and management and is based on their years of experience turning over 100s of vacation homes on a weekly basis. When are security deposits due? How will they be handled? When do you get your deposit back? Here’s the security deposit scoop!
When is the security deposit due?
The security deposit is usually, but not always, simply added to the entire amount and paid according to the terms of your individual contract. Payment terms vary depending based on how far out you are from your visit so we can’t be specific. But in all cases they are due before you take occupancy, and usually at least 2 months beforehand.
How much is the security deposit?
If a security deposit is required, it is generally $3000 per unit rented. Typically security deposits are only required during spring break and other times when there is a higher risk of damage or excessive wear and tear to the property.
When will I receive my security deposit back?
As quickly as we can get it to you after check-out, inspection, correction, and billing, if any. But this takes time because it involves multiple steps and several of them are not under our control.
First, you check out. Then our local management company assesses the property for any wear and tear/cleaning that is above and beyond the normal cleaning, and they look for any damage to the premises and the furnishings. If there is no unusual cleaning or wear and tear/damage, then the entire amount is refunded to you as soon as we receive the move out report from the management company. This is usually 2-3 weeks, but can be faster (or slower) depending on how busy the season is and how busy the management company is. We do try to followup with them after our owner guest visits for which we hold deposits in order to push things along.
Note, generally we do not receive these reports until the end of the month of the stay at the earliest. Yes, we absolutely will sometimes reach out and try to expedite this but please understand that in most cases the requirement for a security deposit and the mechanisms for handling them are not part of our local management companies processes and procedures. In many cases, the mere necessity of our acquiring a security deposit is likely a result of some special request on your part, for example to allow a large group of unrelated adults under the age of 25, and to do so in homes with of high value.
Second, if there is damage or unusual wear and tear/cleaning beyond the norm, then things may get slowed down depending on the extent of the issues. Any maintenance/additional work is tasked, completed and then invoiced, and we deduct those costs from your deposit, and send a refund and accounting directly to the primary contact on the rental agreement. Except in highly unusual situations with extensive issues during high season, this usually takes no longer than 30 days.
We do understand that delays in returning them can be frustrating and we do our best to handle them as rapidly as possible but, again, we have to wait until we get a report on the home before we can do a final accounting and release and return the deposit.
What about Immediately Payable Charges?
There may be times when the local management company assigned to your vacation home, per their own policies and procedures, requires you to pay for damages immediately upon their noting or addressing the issue–they don’t have to fix it at the time, though they often will if its easily doable without interrupting your stay.
These immediately payable charges must be paid directly to the management company at the time of notification. Failure to do so subjects you to the local management company’s immediate eviction policies. You may not use your deposit for this. However, these charges should not be included in your security deposit accounting. If there is a difference between the immediately payable charge and the actual cost of repair or replacement, this amount will be addressed when we account your deposit. That is, if you broke the funky flamingo lamp, and you paid for the lamp as an immediate charge, then we will not also include the broken flamingo lamp as a deduction in your accounting (unless you broke two of them!). It is possible that in the rush of a turnaround, the local management company will not pass along notification of these charges, so please let us know directly if you have to pay for any of these so we can keep an eye out for them.
This is all really quite rare, but it does happen every once in a while….