We recommend using our Security Deposit Hold system whenever possible, to provide a guaranteed method of charging the guest's credit card for any damage. This is the easiest, most reliable, and most automated way to protect yourself. We also recommend adding our low-cost Damage Protection program which is designed to be easy to use, cover all bookings and not require admission of guilt by the guest.
However, some owners and PMs prefer an alternate method where the security deposit funds are actually fully collected ahead of time, as a payment, and then refunded to the guest after departure. This is often referred to as a Refundable Damage Deposit or "RDD". Security deposits can be collected as refundable payments (instead of holds), and the accounting is very clear and shows payments/refund transactions when money is kept.
If you go your property rules and look at the security deposit section, you will see this option showing.
The same settings shows on quotes and bookings as well in their respective rules areas. This "refundable" type of security deposit takes a full payment, instead of an authorized hold, just like any payment as soon as it is reserved. The money never expires because the funds are actually transferred to your bank account right away.
The release settings for "refundable" security deposits work the same way as holds. You specify a certain number of days after departure, up to 120 days, and the system will notify you and release based on that schedule. You also have the option to mark it so it never automatically releases. The release involves an actual refund being sent back to the guest, and the system will show that refund underneath the security deposit on the booking's Transaction tab.
Each of those payment and refunds lines, inside the security deposit, can be clicked on and viewed like any other regular payment and refund transaction. Like the "hold" style security deposits, these payment and refund transactions are linked to the security deposit so that you can quickly see what happened.
In the event that the entire "refundable" deposit is kept, there won't be a refund transaction at all because the entire original payment was kept. That would look the same as above but without a refund, like this:
If you're worried about the funds being auto-refunded too quickly, please note that the system sends you numerous reminders before the money is refunded. You have plenty of time, and plenty of warning, to stop it before that happens. As with holds, there is an easy way to open the security deposit and extend the release period for up to a week longer, and you can do that over and over and as many times as you want.
If your security deposit is set to not be automatically released, we will send you one reminder after departure that you need to manually release it, and then you're on your own. Make sure to release it!
If you'd rather not auto-schedule the security deposit, but would rather take them manually, you can do that too. The booking's Transaction tab now includes both the refundable and hold type security deposits as options in the Security Deposits menu.
By default, the option at the top (above the line) will be the same as your rules for the property, but the other option will be there as well below the line. In the above example, the property rule is set to "refundable" type, so "Collect Refundable" is the top option in the list and "Place Hold" is below that.
If you accidentally click one type instead of the other, the screen will show you which option you are doing and allow you to switch from one to the other right in line: