Frequently Asked Questions About Security Deposits
2. Question: Can a landlord require a security deposit?
Answer: Yes, a landlord can require a security deposit for each rental unit.
3. Question: What is the most a landlord can ask for on a security deposit?
Answer: A security deposit shall not exceed 1 ½ months rent
4. Question: Do I have to give my landlord a forwarding address to get my security deposit back?
Answer: You must notify your landlord in writing within four days after you move of a forwarding address where you can be reached and where you will receive mail; otherwise your landlord shall be relieved of sending you an itemized list of damages and the penalties adherent to that failure.
5. Question: Whose property is the security deposit?
Answer: For the purposes of the Landlord and Tenant Relationship Act and any litigation arising thereunder, the security deposit is considered the lawful property of the tenant until the landlord establishes a right to the deposit or portions thereof as long as the bond provision is fulfilled, the landlord may use this fund for any purposes he desires.
6. Question: What are the permissible uses for a security deposit?
• Reimburse the landlord for actual damages to the rental unit or any ancillary facility that are the direct result of conduct not reasonably expected in the normal course of habitation of a dwelling.
• Pay the landlord for all rent in arrangements under the rental agreement, rent due for premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant and for utility bills not paid by the tenant.
7. Question: How is my security deposit handled if I damage my rental property?
Answer: In case of damage to the rental unit or other obligation against the security deposit, the landlord shall mail to the tenant, within thirty days after the termination of occupancy, an itemized list of damages claimed for which the security deposit may be used as provided in Lease Agreement, including the estimated cost of repair of each property damaged item and the amounts and basis on which he intends to assess the tenant. The list shall be accompanied by a check or money order for the difference between the damages claimed and the amount of the security deposit held by the landlord and shall not include any damages that were claimed on a previous termination inventory checklist prior to the tenant’s occupancy of the rental unit.
8. Question: How long do I have to give my landlord notice of my forwarding address after my termination of occupancy?
Answer: The tenant shall notify the landlord in writing at the address given under Section 4 of the Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act within four days after termination of his occupancy of an address at which communications pursuant to this act may be received. Failure to comply with this requirement relieves the landlord of the requirement of notice of damages but does not prejudice a tenant’s subsequent claim for the security deposit.