of Deposit - Section 44(b). The total amount of all deposits may not
be in excess of one month's rent. This includes the security deposit
and any deposits for keys, pets, or anything else. The tenant may not
use the deposit as payment for the last month's rent unless the
landlord agrees with the tenant in writing to such a use, and the
tenant gives 45 days notice of vacating the premises. In any event,
the landlord retains the right to have the tenant pay for damages
caused by the tenant.
of Deposit - Section 44(c). If the landlord has lawful grounds to
retain all or any portion of the security deposit, the landlord must
notify the tenant in writing of the reasons for retention. Any costs,
such as cleaning or specific repairs, must be itemized and copies of
receipts included. If the repairs cannot be accomplished within the 14
days, estimates for the cleaning or repair services may be
notice, and any portion of the security deposit remaining, after
deductions, must be given to the tenant within 14 days after the
termination of the rental agreement. In order to comply with this
14-day requirement, the landlord may mail the material to the tenant
on or before the fourteenth day. The landlord should obtain acceptable
proof of mailing from the Post Office. The landlord may also prove
compliance with the 14-day requirement by other types of evidence,
such as the tenant's acknowledgement or the testimony of a witness.
notice, including the return of any remaining security deposit, is not
accomplished within 14 days, all of the security deposit shall be
returned to the tenant.
Period to Recover Deposit - Section 44(c). Any action by the tenant to
recover all or any portion of the security deposit must be commenced
within one year from the date the rental agreement terminated.
Dwelling is Sold - Section 44(f). If the landlord sells or transfers
the landlord's interest in a dwelling before termination of a rental
agreement, the new landlord shall, within 20 days, give written notice
to the tenant of the amount credited as the security deposit. If the
new landlord does not give written notice to the tenant, it will be
assumed that the tenant has paid a security deposit equal to no less
than one month's rent at the time the tenant originally rented the
Deposit Disputes - Section 44(h)(1)(2)(3) & (4). Legal action
involving security deposit disputes may be undertaken by either party
only in small claims court. In this type of small claims court action,
lawyers are not allowed to represent either party. Where the court
determines that the landlord:
Wrongfully and willfully retained all or part of the security deposit,
it may award the tenant damages equal to three times the security
deposit plus the cost of the suit.
Wrongfully retained all or part of the security deposit, it shall
award the tenant damages equal to the portion of the security deposit
wrongfully retained plus the cost of the suit.
Retained the security deposit lawfully, it shall award the landlord
damages equal to the portion of the security deposit in dispute plus
the cost of the suit.
Read more in our Security
Deposit Guide on getting back your deposit.