security deposit

What Are Security Deposit Limitations and Requirements in NYC?

Landlords can collect a security deposit, but there are limitations to this practice in NYC. A landlord who takes advantage of tenants by collecting a larger than normal deposit or one who refuses to return the deposit when a tenant moves should be held accountable. A New York City tenants’ rights lawyer can help you if you believe that your landlord is violating local laws.

How Large Can a Security Deposit Be?

A security deposit is not supposed to be more than one month of rent. Taking more than that is considered exploitative. One important thing to note is that the landlord can ask for a larger deposit if they increase the rent.

For example, your apartment costs $2,400 per month to rent when you move in. You pay a $2,400 security deposit. After a few years in the same place, your landlord gives you adequate warning about the rent increasing to $2,600 per month. They can then ask you for an additional $200 to add to your security deposit.

What Should Be Done With a Deposit?

Many renters do not realize this, but your security deposit is actually supposed to be put in an interest-bearing bank account. A tenant is also supposed to receive the bulk of that interest generated. The deposit is not just meant to be put in a landlord’s bank account and mingled with the rest of their money.

When Can a Landlord Keep a Security Deposit?

Your landlord can keep a security deposit or a portion of it when a tenant has done damage to the apartment. They cannot keep it because of regular wear and tear on the apartment. This is just going to happen when someone lives in a place for a year or more, so the tenant cannot be punished for it.

If the landlord does keep the deposit or part of it, an itemized receipt needs to be given to the tenant. This should outline exactly why part or all of the deposit was kept. Valid reasons to keep part of the security deposit include:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Unpaid utility charges
  • Damages caused to the apartment
  • The cost of storing or moving any belongings that the tenant left behind

How Long Does a Landlord Have to Give Back a Deposit?

A landlord can’t drag their feet when it comes to returning your security deposit. There are rules about this too. You should receive your deposit back within 14 days. If there were valid reasons to deduct from your deposit, you should receive an itemized statement at the same time.

Talk to a Tenants’ Rights Lawyer

So if you think that your landlord has violated NYC law, do not let them get away with it. Contact Robert Rosenblatt & Associates to schedule a free consultation with our team. We can tell you more about your legal options and your rights as a tenant.

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