Coming to United States, every International student must be aware of importance of security deposit. Landlords and renters usually charge small amount of money alongside the first payment for housing. The amount of deposit varies between $200 to $250 per person, depending on conditions of the apartment. The rent can be paid weekly, or in several installments – it depends on the owner`s requirements. When signing a rental lease agreement, you will be asked to pay for the following week or the first installment plus deposit. The deposit will be held until you depart and will be used in case of any damages to the property; If property was returned to the owner in original conditions, without any damages and in clean condition, money will be refunded at the end of your stay. So, before you sign your name on a lease/contract and pay your security deposit, check the unit with the landlord for anything broken, leaks, etc.
Also please note, deposit can be kept by landlord if you did not fulfill your contractual obligations according to lease agreement. For example, you terminated your contract, moved out before paying your balance in full, or if you had late fees. If rent was not paid on time, late fees and penalties might apply.