When Can I Keep A New York Tenant’s Security Deposit?

If you are a landlord, you may have asked your tenant to provide a security deposit, to cover any losses you may incur for unpaid rent or damages. In New York, there are specific state laws about security deposits. There may be local laws as well. In addition, there are different rules for deposits on rent stabilized or rent controlled apartments.

In New York, a landlord can keep all or a portion of a tenant’s security deposit to cover any damage in excess of normal wear and tear or for unpaid rent. In addition, the landlord may be able to keep all or a part of the deposit for other breaches of the lease. Any deposit which is owed to the tenant must be returned within a reasonable time after the termination of the tenancy.

Deposits are considered the property of the tenant, and must be deposited in a banking institution in New York. The money cannot be commingled with the landlord’s personal money. The tenant must be informed in writing about where the security deposit was placed. The landlord’s required to place the deposits in an interest bearing account, if the rental property has six or more units.

If you are a landlord and you have questions about security deposits and your legal rights and obligations regarding security deposits, or any other rental issues that may arise, call the New York Landlord & Tenant Attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444. Our attorneys will be happy to help you with your legal issues.

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