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New York Security Deposit Laws

With rent prices soaring to ungodly heights, security deposits are packing an additional punch to those New York tenants desperately seeking a place to live. While New York security deposit laws provide strict rules on how landlords must handle security deposits, there is no statute that sets limits on how much landlords can charge. It is important to know your rights to this arbitrary amount once the lease ceases. This is a quick summary of the security deposit laws in New York.

New York Security Deposit Laws May Vary From City to City

While most landlords require at least one-month's rent as a security deposit, New York security deposit laws on deposit limits can vary throughout the state. Research your specific city's landlord and tenant laws to fully understand your rights.

The following table outlines the specifics of New York security deposit laws.

Code Sections

NY Real Property Law §§220-238

NY General Obligation Law §§7-103 - 7-109

Security Deposit Limits

New York security deposit laws do not state a limit that landlords can charge for security deposits. According to New York's Attorney General, security deposits are usually one month's rent. If rent is later legally increased, landlords can also request a similar increase in the security deposit.

Landlord's Handling of the Security Deposit

Landlords must hold tenants' security deposits in trusts. If a landlord owns a property that holds six or more tenants, the deposit must be held in an interest bearing account by a banking organization. Any commingling of the security deposit with the landlord's personal funds is prohibited.

Interest on Deposit

Tenants are entitled to the majority of the interest that their security deposit earns during tenancy. However, a landlord may collect a 1% administration fee for handling the deposit.

Returning Security Deposit

Landlords must return the entire security deposit plus any interest earned, less any lawful deduction to the tenant within a reasonable time after the end of the lease.

Lawful Deduction by the Landlords

A landlord may deduct any reasonable cost of repairs beyond normal wear and tear, if the tenant damages the apartment, or a reimbursement for any unpaid rent.

The office of New York's Attorney General provides a tenant rights pamphlet to those interested in learning more about their rights. If you believe that your security deposit rights have been violated and wish to seek legal counsel, FindLaw can also help you find a New York landlord/tenant attorney. Explore FindLaw to learn more about your security deposit and your landlord/tenant rights.

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