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Most landlords require a security deposit to ensure that the rental property isn't damaged by the tenant. The landlord can also keep the security deposit if there's any unpaid rent. However, if the tenant makes all rent payments and doesn't damage the premises, the landlord is required to refund the security deposit within a specified period of time. The time in which a landlord must refund the security deposit varies from state to state.
In Pennsylvania, a landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days of the end of the lease and the tenant moving out. Pennsylvania also requires security deposits over $100 to be deposited into an escrow account. If it's required to be in an interest-bearing account, the tenant is entitled to receive the interest if he or she lives in a rental property for 2 or more years.
The following table is a quick summary of Pennsylvania's security deposit laws.
|Code Sections||68 P.S. §§ 250.511a-250.512|
|Security Deposit Minimum||There is no minimum.|
|Security Deposit Maximum||The maximum a landlord can require for a security deposit is two months' rent. For any subsequent years of renting, the landlord can't require more than one month's rent.|
|What Can a Landlord Deduct?||The landlord can deduct for damages to the premises. The landlord can also withhold the security deposit for unpaid rent and/or breach of the rental agreement.|
|How Long for Return of Security Deposit?||The landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out. If the landlord keeps any of the security deposit, he or she must provide the tenant with a written list of damages and the remaining balance within the same 30 day time period.|
|Remedy for Violation||If a landlord fails to comply with these statutes, the tenant is entitled to double the security deposit and any interest earned in the escrow account. However, if the tenant fails to provide the landlord (in writing) with his or her new address, the landlord will be free from liability.|
You can visit FindLaw's sections on Rent and Security Deposits and Security Deposit Laws for more information and articles regarding this topic. If you have questions about security deposit laws, you may want to consult with a local landlord-tenant attorney.
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