Pennsylvania Security Deposit
Pennsylvania Security Deposits

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Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Law

A security deposit is money which actually belongs to the tenant, but is held by the landlord for protection against damages or unpaid rent.

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.

The Landlord Tenant Act requires that interest be paid on security deposits held over two years.

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.

RETURN OF DEPOSIT: Within 30 days after a tenant moves out, the landlord must give the tenant a written list of any damages.

Reasonable 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 judgment. In 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. USE OUR FREE - SECURITY DEPOSIT REFUND REQUEST LETTER - from 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.

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