Get quick and easy access to your home value, neighborhood activity and financial possibilites. Click Follow Search to get alerts on new listings In many ways, using your deposit as last month’s rent makes perfect sense: You won’t have to pester your landlord for the deposit, while your landlord won’t have to mail it back.

Still, while this happens all the time and rarely causes repercussions, this practice can come with risks. “Tenants should check their lease, but there is a good chance it will say that it is not okay to do this,” says law professor David Reiss, research director for the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship.

The reason is simple: “The landlord wants the security deposit to cover, among other things, damage to the property,” Reiss explains. “If the security deposit is used for last month’s rent, it will no longer be available for any other purpose.”

If you leave your apartment in good condition, then your landlord is unlikely to care much. However, if you leave the apartment in poor shape and there is no security deposit left to bring it back up to snuff, then your landlord might come after you to cover the cost of repairs.

Where you live, and the local laws there, can also affect how landlords react. “You will want to know the law as it applies in your jurisdiction,” says Reiss. Read more from realtor.com…

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