New Maine Law Permits Landlords to Offer Apartment Renters a Surety Bond as a Security Deposit Alternative

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SureDeposit (http://www.suredeposit.com), the nation's leading provider of security deposit alternatives for the multifamily industry, has announced that its innovative risk management and marketing program is now available in Maine following Governor Baldacci's recent signing of LD 1651. The new law, which became effective June 20, 2007, allows landlords to offer their apartment residents the option of purchasing a surety bond as a security deposit alternative in lieu of paying all or part of a traditional security deposit. Both options provide for the protection of the landlord.

SureDeposit (http://www.suredeposit.com), the nation's leading provider of security deposit alternatives for the multifamily industry, has announced that its innovative risk management and marketing program is now available in Maine following Governor Baldacci's recent signing of LD 1651. The new law, which became effective June 20, 2007, allows landlords to offer their apartment residents the option of purchasing a surety bond as a security deposit alternative in lieu of paying all or part of a traditional security deposit. Both options provide for the protection of the landlord.

SureDeposit already offers surety bonds as a security deposit alternative at more than one million apartment units in 40 states.

According to SureDeposit CEO and Co-Founder Stuart Litwin, "LD1651 is a notable update to Maine's landlord/tenant law because it benefits both renters and landlords alike. Renters can dramatically lower their move-in costs at lease signing by opting to pay the lower cost surety bond premium instead of a larger, traditional cash security deposit which the landlord holds in escrow for the duration of the lease term."

For example, the SureDeposit program now offers Maine apartment owners a minimum coverage of $500, with coverage in $250 increments thereafter. For $500 worth of coverage against losses, the resident only pays $87.50 for the surety bond premium as an alternative to the traditional security deposit.

"But this lower-cost alternative does not jeopardize the balance sheets of the landlords and property managers of the some 130,000 apartment units statewide in the process. This is because the surety bond protects them against losses due to damage within an apartment unit or due to skipped rent, while requiring the resident to comply with the terms of the lease," explained SureDeposit National Marketing Director David Williamson, who leads the company's sales and marketing efforts statewide and throughout the Northeast.

"In fact, nationally, SureDeposit has already helped renters retain more than $400 million of their hard earned money that they have not had to sink into a traditional security deposit, and at the same time, helped landlords save millions in unrecouped losses. It's a win-win for all involved," Litwin added.

About SureDeposit
SureDeposit's surety bond guarantees the protection of the property and enhances property owners' risk management, while dramatically lowering residents' move-in costs. At lease signing, the resident chooses between paying the traditional security deposit directly to the property owner or a one-time, non-refundable bond premium, which costs a fraction of the traditional security deposit, to SureDeposit. If the resident selects the SureDeposit alternative, the bond covers the lifetime of his residency. Because the program is available nationally, residents can transfer their coverage to different communities within an owner's portfolio or renew their leases without incurring additional expenses.

At move-out, if the resident meets his rental obligations and returns the apartment in good condition, he moves out without any further obligation. If, however, any covered damages, rent loss or lease violations occur, owners file a claim with SureDeposit for prompt reimbursement of the debt amount up to the coverage limit. SureDeposit's surety bond provides a level of coverage to the community against such losses or lease violations that typically exceeds that of a traditional security deposit, allowing apartment owners and managers to reduce the amount of unrecovered debt and improve their NOI.

With more than one million units in nearly 3,300 communities under agreement, SureDeposit is the nation's leading provider of alternatives to traditional security deposits. Founded in 2000, SureDeposit is headquartered in Livingston, New Jersey, and has regional offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Texas.

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Nina Dietrich
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