After the sale of a home occupied by a renter, it was discovered that the security deposit was not transferred from the seller to the buyer as part of the closing. Now the parties can’t agree on who is responsible for the security deposit when the rental ends. Who is responsible for the security deposit?

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  • After the sale of a home occupied by a renter, it was discovered that the security deposit was not transferred from the seller to the buyer as part of the closing. Now the parties can’t agree on who is responsible for the security deposit when the rental ends. Who is responsible for the security deposit?

Both buyer and seller could be responsible. Under the provisions of Section 92.105 of the Texas Property Code, the seller and the buyer may be liable for the security deposit and any refund of the deposit to the tenant upon termination of the rental. The new owner is liable for the return of the security deposit from the date he acquires the property. However, the seller also remains liable for the security deposit he received from the tenant until the buyer delivers to the tenant a signed statement acknowledging that the buyer is the new owner and has received and is now responsible for the tenant’s security deposit. The transfer of the security deposit upon closing is now specifically addressed in the TREC One to Four Family Residential Contract. Paragraph 9(B)(5) now expressly states: “If the Property is subject to a lease, Seller shall (i) deliver to Buyer the lease(s) and the move-in condition form signed by the tenant, if any, and (ii) transfer security deposits (as defined under §92.102, Property Code), if any, to Buyer. In such an event, Buyer shall deliver to the tenant a signed statement acknowledging that the Buyer has received the security deposit and is responsible for the return of the security deposit, and specifying the exact dollar amount of the security deposit.” Texas REALTORS® form 2210, Notice to Tenant of Change in Management and Accountability for Security Deposit, could also be used for this purpose with a few obvious changes. Note: Section 92.105 of the Texas Property Code does not apply to a real estate mortgage lienholder who acquires title by foreclosure.

Source: TAR

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