A security deposit is money which actually
belongs to the tenant, but is held by the
landlord for protection against damages or
Pennsylvania law places a limit on the
amount of a security deposit that a landlord
may charge. During the first year of a lease
the landlord may not require a security
deposit of more than two months' rent.
At the beginning of the second year of a lease
the landlord may not keep a security deposit
equal to more than one month's rent and must
return any money over one month's rent which
the landlord still has.
After five years the landlord cannot increase
a security deposit even though the monthly
rent is increased.
Tenant Act requires that interest
be paid on security deposits held over two
After taking out damages and unpaid rent, a
landlord or property owner must send its
tenants the list of damages and/or the full or
partial security deposit no later than 30 days
after the lease ends or when the landlord
accepts the tenant's keys to vacate the
premises early, whichever occurs first. The
law requires landlords to pay twice the amount
of the security deposit if they fail to
provide consumers with the list of damages
along with any refund due.
At the end of the third year the
landlord must start giving you the
yearly interest that is received from
the bank, less a 1 percent fee that
the landlord may keep.
The landlord does not have to pay
interest to you during the first two
years of the lease. A landlord may put
up a bond instead of depositing
security deposits in an escrow
account. This bond guarantees that you
will get back your deposit with
interest at the end of the tenancy.
OF DEPOSIT: Within 30 days after a tenant moves
out, the landlord must give the tenant
a written list of any damages.
wear and tear are not
damages-and refund the security
deposit less the cost of the repairs
on the list. If the landlord fails to
do this, you cannot be sued for any
damages the landlord claims that you
caused. In addition, if the landlord
does not give you this 30-day notice
you may sue for double the amount of
your security deposit.
If you bring this kind of case,
though, the landlord is then entitled
to have the court deduct the amount of
any damages that the landlord can
prove you caused from the total
order to be able to sue for double
your deposit, though, you must give
your landlord written notice of your
new address when you move out.
DEPOSIT REFUND REQUEST LETTER
tenant to landlord
If you have a problem or a dispute with a
landlord or any other business, you can call
the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer
Protection at 1-800-441-2555.