Security Deposit

Security Deposit Laws Landlord Tenant

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Security deposit law typically apply to leases of 1 year or more and vary based on several factors.  In general "short term" leases are excluded. Examples are Seasonal Rental, Vacation Rentals, Student Housing, Dorms, hotels, etc.

The Landlord MUST HAVE A LEGAL REASON to withhold returning your deposit and must only be done through written correspondence.

Regardless, IF YOU GIVE MONEY to someone, know why and get a receipt. Learn more on Security Deposits here.
FIND your state security deposit law below.

BEFORE you move in, do a walk through (pictures) and note any damages and condition of the rental. The move-in list should be referred to when you leave.
When you leave
the rental,  do a walk through with the owner or property manager. Take pictures and both agree to any damages or to the condition of the rental. 

See our Normal Wear Tear Guide



 Tips to get back your Security Deposit. Read







Use common sense - leave the rental at least "broom clean". If you do not have time to clean, hire a cleaning service. Ask the landlord if they have a cleaning service that they use or suggest.

If you are having trouble getting your security deposit back, first look for your state information.
There may be local free legal aid service available. 
If not, use our free lawyer search.


Select your state. Get detailed security deposit information

Alabama No statutory deadline
Alaska 14 days if the tenant gives proper notice to terminate tenancy; 30 days if the tenant does not give proper notice
Arizona 14 days
Arkansas 30 days


Landlord can charge no more than 2 months' rent for an unfurnished apartment as a security deposit, and 3 months for a fully furnished unit. Within 21 days after you leave the unit, the landlord must refund your full deposit, except for limited deductions. 
Colorado Requires the landlord return the security deposit or an itemized statement of the deductions and balance, if any, to the tenant within 30 days after termination of the lease or the surrender and acceptance of the premises, whichever occurs last.
Connecticut 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later. The landlord may be responsible for up to double the amount of the security deposit for failing to return the deposit.
Delaware If the landlord is not entitled to all or any portion of the security deposit, the landlord must remit the security deposit within 20 days of the expiration or termination of the rental agreement.   Pet Deposit OK up to 1 month.
District of Columbia 45 days
Florida 15 to 45 days depending on whether tenant disputes deductions
Georgia One month
Hawaii 14 days
Idaho 21 days, or up to 30 days if landlord and tenant agree
Illinois 30-45 days depending on whether deductions were made. Also depends on city (Chicago, Evanston etc).

Single condo units are exempt.

Indiana 45 days
Iowa 30 days
Kansas The security deposit can be one month's rent for an unfurnished apartment; 1 1/2 month's for furnished and an added 1/2 month's for pets. The landlord must return the deposit within 30 days or the remainder of the deposit and an itemized list of deductions. 
Kentucky 30-60 days depending on whether tenant disputes deductions
Many landlords require a deposit equal to one month's rent. The landlord must keep all tenant's deposit money together in a separate account used only for that purpose........
Louisiana 30 days -  in Louisiana called the "Lessee's Deposit Law," that says a landowner must return your deposit within 30 days of the date you move out. ........
Maine 21 days (tenancy at will) or 30 days (written rental agreement)
Maryland 30-45 days depending on whether tenant has been evicted or has abandoned the premises
Massachusetts 30 days
Michigan 30 days
Minnesota Three weeks after tenant leaves, and landlord receives mailing address; five days if tenant must leave due to building condemnation
Mississippi 45 days
Missouri Can only require a maximum two months' rent as a security deposit.  At the end of the lease, landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit with an itemized list of damages for which any portion of the deposit is kept.
Montana 30 days
Nebraska 14 days
Nevada 30 days
New Hampshire 30 days
New Jersey 30 days; five days in case of fire, flood, condemnation or evacuation. Seasonal Rentals (under 125 days) not applicable.
New Mexico 30 days
New York Reasonable time 
North Carolina 30 days   
North Dakota 30 days
Ohio 30 days
Oklahoma 30 days
Oregon 30 days
Pennsylvania 30 days
Rhode Island 20 days
South Carolina 30 days - Any deduction from the security/rental deposit must be itemized by landlord in a written notice to the tenant together with the amount due, if any...
South Dakota Two weeks
Tennessee No statutory deadline
Texas   30 days 
Utah 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later
Vermont 14 days
Virginia 30 days
Washington Landlord has 14 days after a tenant moves out to return a deposit, or give a written explanation of why it (or any part of it) was not refunded.....
West Virginia No statutory deadline
Wisconsin No Interest required on deposit and no maximum a landlord may charge - except - see Madison Wisconsin.
Wyoming No statutory deadline
Security Deposit



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