Landlord Basics: Security Deposit Laws Around the U.S.A.

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on March 20, 2012 under Rents and Deposits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenantscreeningblog, tenant screening, background checkIf you’re new (or not) to landlording, you may be wondering about how to set your security deposit requirements. Many landlords charge one month’s rent, plus extra for pets. Others charge higher deposits, to protect themselves from paying for excessive damages when tenants move out.

But it’s important to know that many states mandate what rental property owners may charge tenants for security deposits. Limits range from one month to three months, to no statutory limits at all

Here are some examples of states that do require limits on tenant security deposits:

Alabama One month’s rent, except for pet deposits
Alaska Two months’ rent, except where rent exceeds $2,000 per month
Arizona One and one-half months’ rent
Arkansas Two months’ rent
California Two months’ rent for unfurnished rentals, three months’ rent for furnished. Extra one-half month’s rent for waterbed
Connecticut Two months’ rent for tenants under 62 years of age; one month’s rent for tenants 62 years of age and over
Delaware One month’s rent on one year or more leases; no limit for month-to-month rental agreements; no limit for furnished units
Kansas One month’s rent (unfurnished), one and one-half months’ rent (furnished), extra one-half months’ rent for pets
Michigan One and one-half months’ rent
Nebraska One month’s rent for no pets, one and one-quarter months’ rent with pets
Nevada Three months’ rent
New Hampshire One month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater (!); no limit when landlord and tenant share facilities
New Jersey One and one-half months’ rent. Additional security deposit may not exceed 10% of the current security deposit.
New Mexico One month’s rent on one year or less leases; no limit for leases of one year or more
North Carolina One and one-half months’ rent for month-to month agreements, two months’ rent for if term is longer than two months
North Dakota One month’s rent, with pet, not to exceed the greater of $2,500 or two months’ rent
Pennsylvania Two months’ rent for first year of renting; one month’s rent during second and subsequent years
South Dakota One month’s rent
Virginia Two months’ rent

Be sure to check your local rent control laws, state landlord-tenant laws, and rent regulations for deposit limits and other regulations you need to know.

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