How much deposit should you ask for??
The tenant and the Owner must negotiate this up-front. The amount of deposit due will be written in the Agreement to Lease.
The Owner is entitled to negotiate whatever deposit he / she deems fit. It is common for the Owner to require one months rent or even a double deposit (2 months rent). The Owners can even ask for a triple deposit if the tenant's credit report is considered risky.
However once the amount of the deposit has been agreed, the Owner cannot demand a bigger deposit during the term of the lease ? unless the tenant agrees or unless the it is written into the Agreement to Lease. The tenant must be made aware that his deposit will increase.
No money no keys, any money still not paid on the date to hand over the keys NO keys, all money must be paid before handing over keys.
In other words all money must reflect in the Owners bank account or agents account, including clearance of cheques, before keys are handed over and access given to the property for occupation.
We at LANDLORDS WE DO RENTALS have a very firm policy , no money no keys, it does not matter if there is still R20-00 outstanding it must be paid before the keys are handed over and occupation given.
Deposits that can be asked for.
1) At least one month and but any thing more is a + we ask for 1 1/2 months rent deposit.
2) Take a key deposit.
3) Ask for a water deposit.
4) Whee there are pets allowed, ask for a pet deposit.
5) Got a pool add a pool deposit.
6) Electrical deposit, even for prepaid electrical, why you ask, there is a admin fee each month, if the tenant does not purchase power at the end of the month the admin fee is added to the next purchase.
Also tenants are known to mess with the prepaid meter box.
It is good policy to contact the supplier before the tenant vacate and check when the tenant last purchased power, many a owner has had shock when they are fined by the supplier for the prepaid meter being tampered with and for calculated power used and not paid for.
Simple test, turn every thing off in the property but the lights, then punch into the box #01 the box should trip out and then come on again if it does not there could be a reason to suspect that there has been some tampering with the box.
Remember the golden rule, how much rent is enough? THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH.