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return of deposit money

I have a Tenant that has violated her lease 3 times and has received notices, in my lease it states that if she violates any part of the lease her full deposit will be forfeited. Can I do this? Or do I have to itemize the cost to me of each violation, or charge a fee for each violation.

The security deposit is only used for damages, if the lease is violated and no damages are happening you would want them to fix the issue and then if they don't they will be evicted.
Hi Bea, May I ask if you are an attorney? I notice you seem to answer everyone's questions, and are you going by each parties state statutes? I thought in my situation that since state law says " per an agreement" which should mean that if I have it in writing and she signed it,I should be able to keep the deposit for all the letters, postage, worry and headache I have been through with the violations. Thanks
I'm a landlord and own two rental SFH properties. If a tenant violates any part of our lease agreement I think the security deposit would be forfeited. As long as it is stated in writing I'm sure the judge (in the event the tenant takes us to court) will side with the landlord as the judge will go by whatever it is that we have in writing, and the tenant agreed to the terms outlined within the lease agreement.
I am a landlord also in MN with 3 SFH properties.  Read the MN statutes online and  get familiar with them regarding security deposits.     You can go here and print this all out for your ongoing reference needs.  Minnesota statute language  regarding Security Deposits:    "The landlord can use it to pay for any unpaid rent or any money the tenant owes to the landlord under the lease or another agreement (e.g. water utility bills)."   " The landlord may keep the amount necessary to repair any damage done to the unit by the tenant (beyond ordinary wear and tear) or to pay off other debts related to the tenancy, including any unpaid rent."   "At the end of the tenancy, a landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit plus simple, non-compounded interest, or give the tenant a written explanation as to why the deposit (or any part of the deposit) will not be returned. The landlord must do this within 21 days after the day the tenancy ends, provided that the tenant has given the landlord a forwarding address." (it's only right to remind them to give you their forwarding address & why you need it)   "Minnesota law allows a landlord to withhold from a security deposit only the amount necessary for unpaid rent,  damages to the rental unit beyond ordinary wear and tear, or other money the tenant owes to the landlord under an agreement (e.g. water bills)."    I would just give notice to this tenant who repeatedly violates the lease and be done with the relationship.  Hopefully you do better with the next one.....
Just another note continuing in the vein of my post  above.....  First off, always  be  professional , friendly-businesslike in manner in dealing  with tenants.  I always think it's better to not threaten violation breaking  tenants with keeping their security deposit ( I always know it's out there, but they don't have to know what I'm thinking)'s better to hold  the carrot out there of how to  receive back the largest amount of security with them to get them out in the easiest & most painless way possible....encourage them to do a really great job  of  cleaning, etc upon moving out  so they can get the largest possible amount  of  their security deposit back.  If you have angry resentful tenants going  out the door they may leave you with dirt, damage, more turnover headaches, court headaches and who knows what....and you don't want to be  going to  court for anything at all if you  don't need to's not worth's better to get them  out the door smoothly, hopefully with a lot of cash in their hand  (security deposit) and as quickly as possible...  Being a good Landlord sometimes means you  can give yourself the ok to give a little to keep good tenants or  to get tenants out the door smoothly so you can  go on to the next contract.... Figure out when it's best to just cut bad or unpleasant tenants loose instead of fighting over money or the last month of two left on a contract with bad tenants.... Once I had tenants that turned out to be difficult & we just weren't seeing eye  to eye. well-I decided to break down & allow myself the ok  to end  our lease (at their request) a  month earlier than the  lease agreement.  It  made both parties happy and I  was pleased that they left the home immaculate & they were  happy that they got  nearly 100% of their sec dep back.  They felt they won on their end because I allowed them out  of the contract a month early with  no penalty and they felt they humbled me & got the upper hand by that, but it  also made them more apt to  leave the property clean. No more headaches with was a relief.  And in the end, it's about preserving my property & income in the best & least painless way possible.
Never tell a tenant they are not getting their security deposit back before they vacate. Never tell a  tenant they will receive a specific dollar amount of their deposit  back before vacating. Never commit to a dollar amount that repairs/damages will cost before they vacate. Just sayin.
Very insightful information, Mary. I totally agree with everything you just stated.
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