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Questions and Answers on: Tenant Security Deposits

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Each year, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians rent houses, apartments, mobile homes, and other dwellings as their residences. For the first-time tenant—and some veteran renters—this can be a confusing and somewhat unsettling experience. The more you know about the process of renting residential real estate, the better you will be able to protect your interests and carry out your responsibilities under your rental agreement.

This booklet addresses an important aspect of the rental process which generates many questions from tenants—tenant security deposits.

How much security deposit can I be charged? Can my landlord charge me a “pet fee”? What happens to my security deposit while I’m a tenant? And what happens to it once my rental term is over? These are some of the questions that this booklet attempts to answer. Although this information focuses on security deposits from your perspective as a tenant, it should also be useful to landlords, property managers and rental agents.