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how can i enter a security deposit as a banking transaction

When I set up a tenant, I can enter the security deposit info, but this money only shows up in "Liabilities"  - It does not show up on my bank register. This is causing a problem because I cannot reconcile my checking account when the deposits are  not even showing up.


  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited September 2016

    Quicken Rental Property Manager (RPM) doesn't handle this common rental situation very well.  I don't know how it was handled in the standalone version since I never used it, but since it was merged with Quicken in 2009 it hasn't changed in any significant way.

    There are probably 50 different state laws regarding tenant security deposits.  I'm guessing that's why Quicken doesn't make more of an effort to address this situation.  In all the states I'm familiar with, a tenant's security deposit cannot be co-mingled with the landlord's funds.  A separate account needs to be opened and used for the single purpose of holding the security deposits.  These accounts are in fact liability accounts even though they are checking or savings accounts and therein lies the problem.  If you deposit these funds in your checking account you are essentially increasing YOUR assets and net worth which isn't correct.  As you know, receipt of security deposits is a liability and as such reduces your net worth.

    What I've done is to deposit security deposits in a savings account that I DO NOT track in Quicken.  I know this isn't very clean, but since the account Quicken creates, *Security Deposit Liability* properly creates the needed liability it's all you really need to do.

    You could create a checking or savings account in Quicken to hold the security deposit(s) and elect NOT to include the account in net worth, but then you are faced with additional work customizing reports.  I take the easy way around this by not creating the account in the first place.  Another way to approach this is to open a new checking or savings account at your bank, but create it in Quicken as a "Debt - Other Liability (not a credit card)" account to hold the security deposits.  You can then transfer the individual deposits from the *Security Deposit Liability* account to this new account.  Personally I don't like this option either, but you might.

    Bottom line, I haven't lost a lot of sleep over the problem and haven't spent much time trying to figure out a better way to handle this, but I do think Quicken should at least attempt to provide a better explanation for why they do what they do.  

    P.S. Another related issue with the security deposits occurs when you try to return only a portion of the deposit from the "Edit Rental Property Tenant" dialog.  If you click on the Security Deposit tab and fill in the Amount Returned with an amount less than collected, Quicken could care less.  The transaction in the *Security Deposit Liability* register will show the FULL amount returned.  Go figure . . .
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2016
    I had the same problem. Forget making the deposit when you set up the tenant. Do a regular bank deposit from the checking account register. In the Categories space choose Transfers|*Security Deposit Liability*.  Your Security Deposit account will be credited and cash debited, that is, you will see a larger negative amount for your liability and a larger positive number in cash.  Do the same for deposit refund when you write a refund check.  This won't affect your net worth because the cash and liability balance each other.  The transaction won't show up on your Schedule E tax reports, similar to the principal portion of a mortgage payment.  If the amounts don't match do a category split to show where the additional money went, e.g., to rent or repairs.
  • gregsu168
    gregsu168 Member ✭✭
    This is an old topic but I am trying something similar to what Quicken Generic User did. The difference is that I still use the Add/Edit Rental Property Tenant screens as well, but then delete the transaction later. When I deposit the security deposit check into the checking account register, I choose the Category as *Security Deposit Liability which looks like a transfer into the *Security Deposit Liability* register. But when I setup the tenant in Add/Edit Rental Property Tenant screens, I also put in the same date and amount into the setup tab that is for Security Deposit - date collected and amount. This causes a 2nd or duplicate transaction in the *Security Deposit Liability* register, but then I just delete this one. I know it sounds goofy to enter it one screen then delete out of the register but the date and amount collected will still show up in the Tenant setup tab. So I can still see it there and I can see it in the Security Deposit Liability register but as the actual dollar flow from the checking account, etc. I just avoid having the liability show twice and it seems to work by not showing up on Schedule E.

    I have had one instance where I kept a security deposit to cover partial rent (I know that is not best practice and I put myself at risk, but I trust that particular tenant). On the Tenant setup page and Security Deposit tab, I gave a date for the amount returned and the amount was $0. Then in the Security Deposit Liability register, I added a transaction for that Tenant and category was Rent Received with the correct amount to reduce the liability. This also shows up in the Sch E report correctly. The $0 amount returned did not show up in the register, but if it had, I would have deleted it in that register.

    So I do record it using the Add/Edit Rental Property Tenant screen, but only so those screens stay complete and don't cause a duplicate in liability register.
    Since 1993 and now using subscription Win10 H&B&Rental
  • Quicken_Natalie
    Quicken_Natalie Moderator mod
    Hello @gregsu168,

    Thank you for taking the time to visit the Community and post your issue, however, this is an older post and is less likely to get an answer.

    I suggest creating a new post for better visibility.

    Be sure to include a description of the issue, along with any error messages, as well as the version/release of Quicken that you're using.

    The more information you can provide will help the Community to better understand and assist.

    Thank you,

    Quicken Natalie

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