What Can A Landlord Deduct from the Security Deposit?

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The landlord can deduct damages and missed rent from the security deposit, subject to state laws. For example, the landlord forfeits the ability to make deductions from the security deposit in DC if they miss a narrow deadline to do so. In some states, if tenants don’t provide the landlord a forwarding address, the tenant may forfeit their deposit.

State Security Deposit Laws

There is no federal law regarding security deposits, but nearly every state has detailed rules about how much a landlord can ask for in a security deposit and what they can deduct. See your state law for more details. Check back soon as we update this site with state-specific and local laws.

Maximum Security Deposit Amount

Many states have restrictions on the maximum amount of a security deposit, usually a maximum somewhere between one to three months of rent.

Escrow

Many states require landlords to keep all security deposits in a proper escrow account which earns interest on behalf of the tenant. Failure to do so may cause the landlord to receive fines or forfeit their ability to deduct amounts from the deposit.

Bad Faith

Some states fine landlords who act in bad faith and attempt to keep deposits on a fake pretense of repairs. Some states have severe penalties in such cases, sometimes requiring landlords to pay back double or triple the amount of the security deposit if it's withheld improperly.

Receipts, Deadlines, and Inspections

Depending on the jurisdiction, landlords may need to provide receipts of deducted items, they may have strict deadlines on when an inspection for deductable fixes can take place, and they might need to provide tenants an opportunity to be present during that inspection. Other areas have no or few laws and allow landlords broad flexibility.

State Security Deposit Laws


There is no federal law regarding security deposits, but nearly every state has detailed rules about how much a landlord can ask for in a security deposit and what they can deduct. See your state law for more details. Check back soon as we update this site with state-specific and local laws.

Maximum Security Deposit Amount


Many states have restrictions on the maximum amount of a security deposit, usually a maximum somewhere between one to three months of rent.

Escrow


Many states require landlords to keep all security deposits in a proper escrow account which earns interest on behalf of the tenant. Failure to do so may cause the landlord to receive fines or forfeit their ability to deduct amounts from the deposit.

Bad Faith


Some states fine landlords who act in bad faith and attempt to keep deposits on a fake pretense of repairs. Some states have severe penalties in such cases, sometimes requiring landlords to pay back double or triple the amount of the security deposit if it's withheld improperly.

Receipts, Deadlines, and Inspections


Depending on the jurisdiction, landlords may need to provide receipts of deducted items, they may have strict deadlines on when an inspection for deductable fixes can take place, and they might need to provide tenants an opportunity to be present during that inspection. Other areas have no or few laws and allow landlords broad flexibility.

Last Update : July 24, 2018 UTC

Comments discussing Returning Security Deposit

12 months ago
0
votes

As per the Gov document at
https://coloradosprings.gov/sites/default/files/community_development/pages/landlord_tenant_rights_2014.pdf
Quoting :
"Be sure to give the landlord your forwarding address when you move. If the landlord does not return the security deposit or written list of amounts withdrawn from the security deposit within the 30 or 60 days (d

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Renter in Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Returning Security Deposit
12 months ago
0
votes

I lived in low income housing for four years. At the end of my time there they were going to raise my rent. I couldn't afford it so i talked to them about what i could do they told me i could do 30day written notice to vacate. I did this, i turned in the notice at the end of January to be put by March 1st.i left my lease 26 days early. Then was charged for the remaining days more than $500, more than $700 for replacing a 4 yr old carpet(it was not damaged beyond normal wear and tear). With every

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Renter in Fort Collins, CO, USA
Returning Security Deposit
over 1 year ago
0
votes

I rented the place through the internet and believed the statement from the landlord where he said the size would be at least the size of a hotel room but when we got there and saw the place it was too small and less than 200 square feet. When we showed how upset we were the landlord told us to leave and never gave us access to the property. He then withheld the security deposit and the first month's rent that we had already paid. Is he allowed to do that?
Renter in Savannah, GA, USA
Returning Security Deposit
12 months ago
1
votes

For Colorado Springs , Tenant-Landlord laws explained well in below link. (copy & paste the link in your browser) https://coloradosprings.gov/sites/default/files/community_development/pages/landlord_tenant_rights_2014.pdf
Renter in Lutz, FL, USA
Returning Security Deposit
12 months ago
0
votes

Kansas City Tenant Rights about deposits ,damages and eviction: https://www.kansaslegalservices.org/node/1934/tenant-issues-and-rights-kansas-renters
Renter in Tampa, FL, USA
Returning Security Deposit
8 months ago
0
votes

Hope to get security deposit after early move out plus partial rent.