What Are Security Deposits Usually Used For?

In general, the security deposit can be used to cover damage repairs, unpaid rent, and cleaning fees to restore the rental to the condition it was in at the beginning of the lease. Each state has specific requirements for how the security deposit can be used.

However, in every state, the security deposit cannot be used to address ordinary wear and tear. What qualifies for ordinary wear and tear and what does not?

Ordinary wear and tear includes things like a carpet worn thin after several years, faded paint, lightly scuffed floors, loose grout, or slightly warped cabinets. Compare this to specific damages like heavy water damage on the walls or floors, holes in the carpet, broken shelves, and medium sized holes in the wall (note: a few small holes from hanging pictures do not count). The security deposit can cover specific damages, but not normal wear and tear.