How Long Does A Landlord Have To Return A Security Deposit?


There are no federal laws to cover how long a landlord has to return a security deposit to a tenant. However, there are regulations in place in each state.

How Long Does A Landlord Have To Return A Security Deposit? How long a landlord has to return a security deposit depends on where you are in the country and, in some states, the circumstances surrounding the end of the tenancy. The shortest time limit is 14 days, while the longest is 30 days. However, the majority of states require a landlord to return a security deposit within 30 days.

A State By State Guide To Security Deposits

Here you will find the regulations concerning security deposits for each state. However, this information is correct at the time of writing and no guarantees can be given as to this information beyond this date.

Alabama

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Alabama is 60 days after the tenancy ends and possession of the rental has been returned to the landlord.

Security deposits are limited to one month’s rent, except for

  • Pet deposits
  • Deposits to cover undoing tenant’s alterations
  • Deposits to cover tenant activities that pose increased liability risks

Ref: Ala. Code § 35-9A-201


Alaska

If the tenant gives proper notice to terminate the tenancy, the landlord has 14 days in which to return the security deposit. If the tenant does not provide appropriate notice, or if the landlord has to deduct money from the security deposit for repairs, the landlord has 30 days in which to return the deposit or the balance of the deposit.

The security deposit limit is two months’ rent, up to a maximum of $4,000. Landlords may also ask for an additional month’s rent as a pet deposit. The pet deposit can only be used to repair damage caused by the pet. A pet deposit cannot be charged for a service dog.

Ref: Alaska Stat. § 34.03.070, 34.03.120


Arizona

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Arizona is 14 days. In addition, the tenant has the right to be present at the final inspection.

Security deposits can be no more than one and one half months rent.

Ref: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-1321


Arkansas

In Arkansas, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 60 days.

Security deposits can be a maximum of two months of rent.

Ref: Ark. Code Ann. §§ 18-16-303 to 18-16-305


California

In California, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 21 days.

The security deposit a landlord can charge is limited to two months’ rent for an unfurnished property and three months’ rent for a furnished rental.  Also, a landlord can add an extra half months rent if the tenant has a waterbed.

Ref:  Cal. Civ. Code 1950.5, 1940.5(g)


Colorado

The deadline for a landlord to return a security deposit in Colorado is one month. However, the exception to this rule is if the lease specifies a longer period. In this case, the landlord has however long the lease says to return the security deposit with a maximum of 60 days is allowed.

In addition, if a hazardous condition such as a flood or a gas leak forces the tenant to leave quickly, the landlord has 72 hours to return the deposit excluding holidays and weekends.

There are no statutory limits for security deposits in Colorado, meaning a landlord can request any amount they choose.

Ref: Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 38-12-102 to 38-12-104


Connecticut

In Connecticut the deadline for returning a security deposit is whichever is later – 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving the tenant’s forwarding address.

Security deposits in Connecticut are dependant on the tenant’s age. For tenants, under 62 years of age, the limit is two months. Meanwhile, tenants of 62 years and over can be charged a maximum of one month’s rent. If a tenant has paid two months and turns 62 during their tenancy, they are entitled to a refund of one month of their deposits.

Ref: Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21


Delaware

For landlords in Delaware, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 20 days.

Meanwhile, the security deposit limit depends on the length of the lease. For leases of one year or more, the limit is one month’s rent. For month to month tenancies, there are no limits for the first year of tenancy. After the first year, the landlord must refund the difference between one month’s rent and the amount the landlord charged at the beginning of the tenancy.

Ref: Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, §§ 5514, 5311


District Of Columbia

The deadline for returning a security deposit is 45 days, and the security deposit limit is one month’s rent.

Ref: D.C. Code Ann § 42-3502.17; D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 14, §§ 308 to 310


Florida

In Florida, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 15 to 60 days, depending on whether or not the tenant disputes the landlord’s deductions.

Meanwhile, there is no statutory limit on the amount of security deposit which can be charged.

Ref:  Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 83.49, 83.43 (12)


Georgia

The deadline for returning a security deposit is one month, and the is no statutory limit to the amount of security deposit a landlord may ask for.

Ref:  Ga. Code Ann. §§ 44-7-30 to 44-7-37


Hawaii

In Hawaii, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 14 days.

A landlord may charge a maximum of one month’s rent as a security deposit. Also, a landlord may charge an additional one month’s rent as a pet security deposit.

Ref: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-44


Idaho

The deadline for returning a security deposit is 21 days, or up to 30 days if both the landlord and tenant agree, and as long as the tenant has not been coerced into agreeing.

Meanwhile, there is no statutory limit for the amount of security deposit for which a landlord can ask.

Ref:  Idaho Code § 6-321


Illinois

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Illinois is dependant on how many units there are in the property.

Properties with four or fewer units have no statutory deadline.

For properties with five or more units, 30 to 45 days, depending on:

    • Whether a tenant disputes the landlord’s deductions
    • If the tenant disputes the landlord’s security deposit deductions statement
    • If the unit is furnished.

There are also no statutory limits on the amount of security deposit which can be charged.

Ref:  765 Ill. Comp. Stat. 710/1; 715/1 to 715/3


Indiana

The deadline for returning a security deposit is 45 days in Indiana, and there are no statutory limitations on the size of the security deposit.

Ref:  Ind. Code Ann. §§ 32-31-3-9 to 32-31-3-19


Iowa

There is a 30-day deadline for returning security deposits in Iowa, and the maximum security deposit is two months rent.

Ref: Iowa Code Ann. § 562A.12


Kansas

The deadline for returning a security deposit is 30 days.

Security deposit limits depend on whether or not a rental is furnished or unfurnished. For furnished rentals, the maximum security deposit is one month’s rent, and for furnished rentals, it is one and a half months rent. As an additional one and a half months rent can be chared as a pet deposit.

Ref:  Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-2550, 58-2548


Kentucky 

In Kentucky, if the tenant doe not dispute any deductions made form their deposit, the landlord must return the balance within 30 days. The same deadline applies for security deposits from which no deductions have been made. However, if a tenant disputes any deductions made from their security deposit, the landlord has up to 60 days to return the balance.

As with many other states, there are no statutory limits in place in Kentucky to limit the amount of security deposit a landlord charges.

Ref: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 383.580


Louisiana

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Louisianna is one month, and there is no statutory limit in place to restrict the size of the deposit.

Ref:  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:3251


Maine

If there is a written rental agreement, then the landlord has up to 30 days to return the security deposit. If there is no written agreement in place, known in Maine as a “tenancy at will,” then the landlord must return the deposit within 21 days.

It does not matter if there is or is not a written agreement; the maximum deposit a tenant can be charged is two months rent.

Ref: Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, §§ 6031 to 6038


Maryland

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Maryland is 45 days, and the maximum security deposit is two months rent.

Ref:  Md. Code Ann. [Real Prop.] § 8-203, § 8-203.1, § 8-208


Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 30 days.

Meanwhile, the maximum security deposit for which a landlord can ask is one month’s rent.

Ref:  Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 186, § 15B


Michigan

The statutory time limit for the return of a security deposit in Michigan is 30 days and the maximum security deposit allowable if one and one half months rent.

Ref:  Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.602 to 554.616


Minnesota

In Minnesota, a landlord has 15 days in which o return a security deposit, as long as they have the tenants forwarding address. If the landlord does not have the tenants forwarding address, they have 15 days from the date the address is supplied by the tenant in which to return the deposit.

As to the size of the deposit, a landlord can charge in Minnesota; there are no statutory limits.

Ref:  Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.175, 504B.178, 504B.195


Mississippi

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Mississippi is 45 days, and there is no statutory limit on the size of the deposit.

Ref: Miss. Code Ann. § 89-8-21


Missouri

In Missouri, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 30 days.

The security deposit limit is two months rent.

Ref:  Mo. Ann. Stat. § 535.300


Montana

Landlords in Montana have ten days in which to return the security deposit, as long as there are no deductions. If there are deductions, the time limit is extended to 30 days.

Meanwhile, there is no statutory limit to how much the security deposit can be.

Ref:  Mont. Code Ann. §§ 70-25-101 to 70-25-206


Nebraska 

In Nebraska, landlords have 14 days in which to return a tenants security deposit.

The size of the deposit is limited to one month’s rent and an additional one month’s rent is allowed if the tenant has a pet.

Ref: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1416


Nevada

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Nevada is 30 days.

The maximum security deposit allowed is three months rent. However, Nevada is unique in that it allows for a surety bond to be posted for some or all of the deposit – as long as both the tenant and the landlord are in agreement.

Ref:  Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 118A.240 to 118A.250


New Hampshire

New Hampshire has different rules about the time limit in which a security deposit must be returned depending on whether or not the landlord and tenant share any of the facilities of the building.

If the landlord and tenant do share facilities, then the landlord has 30 days in which to return the security deposit. The exception to this is when the landlord had asked for more than the equivalent of 30 days rent as a security deposit. In these circumstances, the landlord must, at the time the tenancy begins, provide the tenant with a written acknowledgment of the amount received and specify a timeline in which the deposit will be returned when the tenancy ends.

If the landlord and tenant do not share facilities, or if there is no timeline specified in a lease agreement, the limit is 20 days.

The amount of security deposit which may be charged is $100 or one month’s rent, whichever is higher. If the landlord and tenant share facilities, then there are no security deposit limits.

Ref:  N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 540-A:5 to 540-A:8; 540-B:10


New Jersey

The deadline for returning a security deposit in New Jersey is 30 days. However, if a  tenant must vacate as a result of fire, flood, condemnation, or government evacuation, the limit is five days.

The security deposit limit is one and one half months rent. New Jersey is unique in that it allows a landlord to charge an additional security deposit amount each year. The only restriction to this is that the additional amount charged cannot be more than 10% of the current security deposit.

Ref:  N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 46:8-19, 44:8-21.1, 44:8-21.2, 44:8-26


New Mexico

In New Mexico, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 30 days.

For a rental agreement of less than one year, the security deposit limit is one month’s rent. For any lease of a year or longer, there are no limits on the amount of deposit which can be charged.

Ref:  N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-18


New York

The deadline for returning a security deposit in New York is 14 days, and the maximum amount of the deposit is one month’s rent.

Ref: N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Law §§ 7-103 to 7-108


North Carolina

In North Carolina, a landlord has 30 days to return a security deposit. The exception to this is if any deductions from the deposit cannot be finalized within that time period. If this is the case, the landlord must send an interim deduction statement and finalize the deductions and return the remainder of the deposit within 60 days from the date the tenant vacated the home. 

One and one-half months’ rent is the maximum security deposit a landlord can charge for month-to-month rentals. If the rental term is two months or longer, they may charge two months rent as a security deposit.  An additional “reasonable,” non-refundable deposit may be charged for pets. There is no indication f what might be considered reasonable.

Ref:  N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 42-50 to 42-56


 

North Dakota

Landlords in North Dakota have up to 30 days in which to return a security deposit.

The security deposit limit is one month’s rent unless the tenant has a pet. In this case, the landlord can charge an additional one months rent.

However.

In North Dakota, they explicitly state that a landlord cannot charge a pet deposit for an officially sanctioned service or companion animal. assistance animal. In this case, the tenant can keep the animal and cannot be charged a pet deposit as the animal is considered a “reasonable accommodation” under fair housing laws.

In addition, as an incentive for landlords to rent homes to those with felony convictions, landlords may charge these tenants up to two months rent as a security deposit.

Ref:  N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1


Ohio

The deadline for returning a security deposit is 30 days in Ohio, and there is no statutory limit on the amount which can be charged as a security deposit.

Ref:  Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 5321.16


Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the deadline for returning a security deposit is 45 days. In the meantime, there is no limit imposed on the amount landlords can charge as a security deposit.

Ref:   Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, § 115


Oregon

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Oregon is 31 days, and there is no limit on the size of the deposit.

Ref:   Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300


Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has a 30-day deadline for the return of security deposits.

The limits for the amount of security deposit are two months’ rent for the first year of renting and then one month’s rent during the second and subsequent years of renting. Once the second year begins, the landlord must refund the one months difference to the tenant.

Ref:  68 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 250.511a to 250.512


Rhode Island

The deadline for returning a security deposit is 20 days in Rhode Island, and the security deposit limit is one month’s rent.

Ref:  R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-18-19


South Carolina

South Carolina requires landlords to return a security deposit within 30 days, but there are no statutory limitations on the amount which can be charged.

Ref:  S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-410


South Dakota

In South Dakota, a landlord has 14 days in which to return a tenants security deposit, and they must also provide a general written account of any deductions made. The tenant is entitled to request an itemized account, and if they do so, the landlord has up to 45 days to provide the document and refund the security deposit.

The security deposit limit is one month’s rent. However, if there are any special conditions which pose a danger to the premises or which may cause higher levels of maintenance, a higher deposit, without limit, may be charged.

Ref:   S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 43.32-6.1, § 43-32-24


Tennessee

There are no regulations in Tennessee over either the amount of time a landlord has to return a security deposit or the amount of the security deposit which can be charged.

Ref:  Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-301


Texas

The deadline for returning a security deposit in Texas is 30 days unless the lease states that the tenant must give written notice that they will be vacating the rental. If this is the case and the tenant fails to notify the landlord in writing, then the landlord does not have to return the security deposit.

There are no limits on the size of the security deposit.

Ref:   Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §§ 92.101 to 92.109


Utah

Utah has a 30 day limit for the return of a security deposit, but there are no limits as to how much that security deposit may be.

Ref:  Utah Code Ann. §§ 57-17-1 to 57-17-5


Vermont

The deadline for returning security deposits in Vermont is 14 days for rentals which are a tenant’s primary residence. For seasonal rentals, the landlord has up to 60 days to return the deposit.

There is no statutory limit on the amount of the deposit.

Ref: Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 4461


Virginia

Virginia has a 45-day deadline for a landlord to return a security deposit. In addition, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing that the tenant has a right to be present at the final inspection. Also, landlords and tenants can include a clause in the lease with the option of an expedited return of the deposit upon payment of an agreed administrative fee by the renter.

There are no statutory limits for security deposits.

Ref:  Va. Code Ann. § 55-248.15:1


Washington

Washington has a 21-day time limit in which a landlord must return a security deposit to a tenant, and there are no statutory limits on the amount charged for deposits.

Ref: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 59.18.260 to 59.18.285


West Virginia

The deadline for returning a security deposit in West Virginia is 60 days from the date the tenancy ended. Or, if a new tenant has taken up residence in the rental, 45 days from the date the new tenant moved in.

Meanwhile, the state has no statutes in place to cover the size of a security deposit.

Ref:  W.Va. Code § 37-6A-1 et seq.


Wisconsin

Landlords in Wisconsin have 21 days in which to return a tenants security deposit, and there are no deposit limits.

Ref:  Wis. Admin. Code ATCP 134.04, 134.06; Wis. Stat. § 704.28


Wyoming

If a landlord in Wyoming is making deductions for unpaid rent, the balance of the deposit must be returned within 15 days of receiving the tenants forwarding address, or 30 days, whichever is longer. If the landlord is making deductions for damages, then they have 60 days in which to return the security deposit.

No statutes are in place to limit the amount charged for a security deposit.


About The Author

Geoff Southworth is the creator of RealEstateInfoGuide.com, the site that helps new homeowners, investors, and homeowners-to-be successfully navigate the complex world of property ownership. Geoff is a real estate investor of 8 years has had experience as a manager of a debt-free, private real estate equity fund, as well as a Registered Nurse in Emergency Trauma and Cardiac Cath Lab Care. As a result, he has developed a unique “people first, business second” approach to real estate.

Check out the Full Author Biography here.

 

 

 

Geoff

Geoff Southworth is the creator of RealEstateInfoGuide.com, the site that helps new homeowners, investors, and homeowners-to-be successfully navigate the complex world of property ownership. Geoff is a real estate investor of 8 years has had experience as a manager of a debt-free, private real estate equity fund, as well as a Registered Nurse in Emergency Trauma and Cardiac Cath Lab Care. As a result, he has developed a unique “people first, business second” approach to real estate.

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