Four Tips to Avoid Penalties for "Commingling" Residents' Security Deposits
Owners must be careful about where they keep the money residents give them as security deposits. A security deposit is not in the same category as a rent check or other type of payment an owner may receive from a resident. Technically, the security deposit belongs to the resident. Although you hold it while the resident lives in your building, it is not your money unless and until the resident moves out leaving unpaid rent or damage to the apartment.