Understanding Security Deposits for Landlords in Puerto Rico

Understanding Security Deposits for Landlords in Puerto Rico

Are you considering starting a rental business for your property in Puerto Rico? Since 2022, Puerto Rico has been one of the most popular spots in the Caribbean for tourists and expats alike.

But before you start seeking tenants, you must familiarize yourself with Puerto Rico's rental laws. One of the most important laws regards collecting and returning security deposits.

This guide will explain the basics of security deposits for landlords in Puerto Rico. You can begin your rental business once you've learned these laws.

Here's what you must know.

How Much to Charge for Security Deposits?

According to current Puerto Rican rental laws, the security deposit maximum can't exceed the monthly rental price. If you charge $1,000 per month as a rental fee, then your security deposit can't exceed this amount.

You can charge a lower price for your security deposit if you wish. This is often a great way to attract more tenants.

If you use a vacation rental platform, it often forgoes a security deposit altogether. However, these are often the best ways to find frequent travelers and seasoned expats who'll make great tenants.

Most vacation rental platforms don't require you to prepare a lease agreement. Otherwise, written contracts aren't mandated by Puerto Rican law. However, it's always best to prepare one in case you need to resolve disputes.

Withholding Security Deposits

Landlords must refund a security deposit in full within ten days of ending the lease agreement. It's often best to keep the security deposit in an escrow account to avoid any issues.

However, there are circumstances that allow you to keep part or all of the deposit, including the following:

  • The tenant has caused serious damage to the property and/or any household item
  • The tenant owes unpaid rent and/or bills
  • The tenant has violated the terms of the lease agreement

As a landlord, you must inform your tenant that you need to keep any part of the deposit. You'll have to provide them with a list of items that need to be compensated for.

Each item must list the cost that'll be deducted from the deposit. This must be provided within 30 days after the lease agreement ends.

Your tenant can also ask for copies of each receipt for your expenses. They have up to 15 days to request this after the lease agreement ends. If there are any disputes regarding security deposit deductions, tenants have the right to file a case in court.

See You in Puerto Rico

Now you know the laws regarding security deposits for your property in Puerto Rico. Your security deposit can't exceed the monthly rental fee. It must also be refunded within ten days.

You can keep part or all of a security deposit under certain conditions. Make sure you provide evidence that you used the security deposit to cover costs.

If this sounds like a challenge, you need a property manager to help you. PMI Puerto Rico is the best option, as we're part of a franchise that's been in the industry for 20 years. Reach out to us today!