Security Deposit

Category: Tenant Rights & Laws Last Updated: Friday, 06 March 2015 Published: Sunday, 21 September 2014 Written by ATA Admin

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Security Deposit:


A security deposit is a sum of money—usually equal to one month of rent but not more than two months of rent during the first year of the lease—given to a landlord as prepayment for any apartment damages or unpaid rent or fees that occur during the term of the lease. If there are no charges, the money must be returned to you within 30 days of moving out. If any money is withheld, the landlord must provide you a written account of what was kept and why. You must give the landlord a forwarding address in writing when you move out to receive your deposit. You must also return the keys to the landlord as well as return the property in a clean and sanitary condition.

Q: How much can my landlord charge for a security deposit?
In the state of Pennsylvania the landlord can charge up to two months of rent for the security deposit for the first year. During the second and subsequent years of the lease or during any renewal
of the original lease the amount require to be deposited may not exceed one month’s rent. For the third year the landlord can request another month's worth of rent. Whenever a tenant has been in possession of premises for a period of five
years or greater, any increase or increases in rent shall not require a concomitant increase in any security deposit. Any attempted waiver of these laws by a tenant by a contract or otherwise shall be void and unenforceable.

Q: When will my deposit be returned?
In the state of Pennsylvania landlords have thirty days to return the security deposit to the forwarding address you provide when you moved out. You must provide the landlord with a forwarding address and return the keys to receive the security deposit. You should send the landlord your forwarding address in writing sent certified mail with the USPS. Failure to do so will void your right to the security deposit.

Q: What do I do if my landlord fails to return the security deposit?
If the landlord fails to return your security deposit minus any damage that you did to the property you then have the right to sue for your security deposit in court. You can choose to sue for double the security deposit.





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