RentLife Property Management

Written by Mark Kallus, Owner & Broker

RentLife® Property Management

Houston’s Local Property Management Experts

 Can I Use My Security Deposit Towards Last Month’s Rent

Can I Use My Security Deposit Towards Last Month’s Rent?

Can I Use My Security Deposit Towards Last Month’s Rent?

Many tenants assume that when they pay a security deposit to rent a property, they don’t have to pay last month’s rent. Since the amount is often similar, if not the same as the rental amount, it’s normal to make that assumption, but that’s not the case unless your lease specifically states that any deposit money you put down gets applied to the last month’s rent. Assume you have to pay your last month’s rent. 

What happens if I don’t pay the last month’s rent?

A few things can happen. A late fee will most likely be added to your account since you didn’t pay rent on time like you were supposed to. If you still don’t pay after the grace period expires, then the landlord can start the eviction process. Depending on how busy the courts are with evictions, you may move out at the end of the lease before eviction. However, you may still have a blemish on your record, additional fees may apply, and you will not be getting a good reference later when you try to rent places if they contact your landlord. You may even have the home you’re trying to move into not work out if you default on the last month’s rent and your landlord discloses it to your potential new landlord or property management company.

Your security deposit may not cover all your move-out expenses

When the security deposit gets applied to last month’s rent and additional fees are added, like charges for damage to the property or cleaning needed when you move out, there’s a good chance your security deposit may not cover everything. If you don’t pay the difference between what you owe and what your deposit covers, the landlord can sue and send you to collections which may incur more fees while also damaging your credit. 

What can I do if I cannot pay last month’s rent?

You might need the money for extra moving expenses, security deposit, or paying fees to start the lease on your next rental. If you cannot pay last month’s rent in full and on time, you should contact your landlord immediately and see if you can work out payment arrangements and possibly save on some of the fees, eviction, and credit damage.

If you leave owing money and don’t pay it

The landlord can go after one or all the tenants to try and collect what is owed. If you have a co-signer, this person may also be liable for your debt. If you have a co-signer, this might be a good person to ask for a loan to cover the last month’s rent since they could ultimately be held responsible. That way, they could pay the rent on time without additional fees, and you can work out a payment arrangement with your co-signer.

Every landlord is different, and landlords are not obligated to work with you. You signed a legally binding contract, your lease agreement, and you are asking them to modify terms for your situation; however, it’s usually in their best interest, so most will work with you if your proposal is reasonable. Let your landlord know what you can pay now and the timeline of when you’ll be able to pay the balance, and see if she agrees or has a counter proposal that will work for both parties.

We are the one you want if you are looking for a Spring Property Management Company! RentLife® Property Management CRMC® is the best choice for property management in Cypress, TX. We also offer rentals and property management in Humble, Katy, Richmond, Spring, The Woodlands, Tomball, Conroe, Houston, Magnolia, and other surrounding areas. Contact us today at or 832-562-3600.