handing over money

When you sign a residential lease in NYC, you agree to pay a security deposit. There are limits to how much a landlord can charge though, and it’s a good idea for renters to know about these limitations. You should also learn more about how a deposit can be used and when it should be returned to you. A Long Island, NY landlord-tenant dispute lawyer from our firm can tell you more.

How Much Can My Landlord Charge for a Security Deposit?

A landlord cannot just charge whatever they want to when you sign a residential lease. In most cases, the owner of the building cannot charge more than one month’s rent for the security deposit. So if your rent is $2,500, your maximum security deposit is $2,500.

Your landlord is supposed to return that deposit to you shortly after the lease has ended. They can take some money from your security deposit to pay for damages done to the apartment, but they cannot take money to pay for repairs needed due to regular wear and tear.

What Happens If My Rent Rises?

In some cases, if the landlord raises the rent on an apartment or house, they will also ask for more money to add to your initial deposit. This is legal. Let’s say that your rent was $3,000 and you paid a $3,000 deposit. If you renew your lease for another year and agree to pay $3,100 per month, your landlord can ask for another $100 to add to your security deposit.

When Do I Receive My Security Deposit Back?

You should receive your deposit back within 14 days of ending your lease. If your landlord says that you have done damage to your apartment and that repairs are needed, then you should receive an itemized statement that tells you what repairs are being done along with the remainder of your deposit. A landlord who does not return your deposit in a reasonable timeframe can be brought to court.

How Should My Landlord Handle My Security Deposit?

Some renters and landlords don’t realize this, but there are actually rules governing what is supposed to be done with a tenant’s deposit once the landlord receives it. It’s not supposed to be commingled with the landlord’s personal funds. Instead, it is meant to be held in an interest-bearing account. The landlord must tell the tenant of the
name and address of the bank and pay the tenant the full annual interest, minus one percent of the security deposit total.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you think that your landlord has mishandled your security deposit or refuses to return it, you may want to talk to an attorney. Contact David A. Gallo & Associates, LLP and schedule a consultation. We can tell you more about your options.