Webinar Rewind: Security Deposits

Back to your weekly scheduled program: a dose of web excitement… and, as always, we’re featuring K.C. and Chris G. on the Rent Manager® tip, the dynamic duo devoted to helping you customize Rent Manager® and improve your efficiency.

This week, Chris gave us an overview of all things security-deposit-related in Rent Manager®. It’s what the all the cool kids are doing: Receiving, refunding, reallocating, transferring, forfeiting…. The only thing he didn’t show us was how to make origami figurines using deposit checks (he’s saving that for a later webinar).

So get ready, it’s time to become an honest-to-goodness Security Deposit Master!

Create and Define

While there are several pre-loaded types of security deposits in Rent Manager®, you have the ability to add charge types to reflect the way your business handles such fees. Chris first walked us through how to create a new charge type in Rent Manager® by setting up a pet deposit in the system. He then showed us how to define the new pet deposit charge using the program’s System Preferences.

This two-step process ensures that your new security deposit charge is represented on both the customer side and the financial side of Rent Manager®. These separate elements are the Yin and Yang of Rent Manager’s accounting system, so it’ll benefit you to always seek balance between them.


Deposits’whether you’re receiving/refunding/forfeiting them, etc.’the best (and easiest) way to handle such charges is to work from Rent Manager’s Security Deposit display, which is found on the General tab of the Customer Information form. When you pull up the resident’s record, you’ll see the Security Deposit display smack-dab in the middle of the screen.

Being the great guy that he is, Chris broke down the steps for receiving security deposits for a number of scenarios:

  • A new occupant
  • A current tenant who is required to pay an additional deposit
  • An existing resident whose deposit is not yet accounted for in Rent Manager®

All three deposit situations start with the Receive button on the Security Deposit display. Once this button is clicked, you’ll be able to select your deposit type and enter the deposit amount and date in the Security Deposits form.

When you save the record, the deposit will show up as an entry on the Transaction tab and as an open charge on the Payments tab. You’ll then be able to receive payment for the security deposit, putting the customer side and the financial side of Rent Manager® in sync. Remember, always seek balance!


To process a security deposit reimbursement, click the Refund/Apply button and complete the Deposit Refund form. The Amount returned to customer field will automatically default to the sum you’re holding for the resident in question.

  • If the tenant has no current charges due (outstanding rent, CAM fees, etc.) and doesn’t owe any new charges (damage repair, cleaning, etc.), you’ll refund their entire deposit by selecting the appropriate bank account, deciding whether to write a check or create a bill for the repayment, and confirming that the payee name is correct.
  • If the tenant owes current and/or new charges, you’ll first reallocate the security deposit funds to those outstanding charges, then process a refund for any remaining funds.
  • And if the outstanding charges exceed the total security deposit held, Rent Manager® will automatically create a new entry on the Transaction tab for the amount due, and an open charge will also be created on the Payments tab.

Chris then reminded us that if you find yourself in a jam or confused about a process in Rent Manager®, just press the F1 key to open the Help File and find out what your next step should be. When all else fails, go F1!


To transfer a security deposit from one unit to another, start by updating the tenant’s property information in the Rental Info display on the General tab. Rent Manager® will then ask you how you want to treat the tenant’s existing transactions, in most cases, it’s best to select Create duplicate customer account for new property and unit.

Next, the system will want to know if you’d like to transfer the security deposit to the new unit, which you most likely want to do. All that’s left to do at that point is to complete the Security Deposit Transfer form.


And for those AWOL tenant scenarios, Chris covered processing security deposit forfeitures. First confirm that there’s a Security Deposit Forfeit charge type set up in the system, then click the Refund/Apply button and complete the Deposit Refund form. It’s just that easy!

Compare Reports

Chris then shared one last tip before wrapping up the webinar, always check your Security Deposit Listing report against your Balance Sheet. Doing so let’s you quickly confirm that the customer side and financial side of Rent Manager® are in agreement with each other. There’s that balance again!

If you aren’t sure how to run either of these reports, follow this link to our Knowledge Base article on the procedures:


So, that’s the webinar in a nutshell. For the complete lowdown on handling security deposits in Rent Manager®, catch the entire lesson at RentManager.com>Services>Training Videos.

And if you haven’t already, get with the program! Participate in our weekly webinars and make Rent Manager® work harder for you!