Collect Security Deposits or Learn Some Expensive Lessons
In their haste to rent their rental houses, landlords will often overlook the fact that a tenant cannot afford to pay a security deposit. The security deposit is intended to be a lump sum of cash to protect the landlord from tenant's misbehaving. If the tenant damages the property or does not pay his monthly rent, the funds can be taken from the deposit.
However, if the landlord never collects the deposit in the first place the tenant has nothing to lose by acting poorly. Damages to the carpet, missed rental payments, HOA violations; all go unpaid because there are no funds held by the landlord to cover the damages.
Additionally, if the landlord wants to file legal notices and proceed with evictions, there are no funds to cover the legal fees entailed.
Lesson: Collect security deposits or face expensive lessons in leniency. Without a something to lose, tenants are free from rental responsibility.