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Landlord Tips: Security is Not Rent
Security does NOT = Rent

Let the tenants know at the lease signing that security may not be used as rent. Then ask for their word of honor- that they will not break the agreements in your lease. Point out that if the tenant stops paying rent- even if they are giving notice to vacate asking you to use the security deposit as the rent- that they will be breaking their word of honor sealed this day with their signatures. And if this happens, you'll (your manager or your lawyer can be the "bad guy" if you don't want to) have no choice but to use the security deposit for attorney fees to swiftly evict them and destroy any good credit they may have because if their word and their signatures are NO GOOD, why should you believe that they'll move out when they say they will?
- John @theLPA


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