Landlord Questions
Q: Are landlords allowed to charge two month's security deposit?

Are private landlords allowed to charge two month's security? Where can I find information on what private landlords can and can not do?



Let’s start with your state, based on the zip code you gave us, placing you in Jamaica, New York.

New York

law is silent on the matter. Meaning the landlord can charge whatever he can get, unless local laws place additional restrictions on the landlord.

But

… if your property is within New York City limits, and subject to rent control or rent stabilization, then

the maximum allowable security deposit is one month’s rent.

Landlords cannot ask for the last months’ rent up front in rent-controlled or stabilized units within New York City. They can request you to post additional amounts at renewal to keep the deposit on hand equal to a month’s rent, however.

Want to Find a Local Property Manager?


Other States



In addition to New York, the other states with no statutory limits on initial deposits include:


Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Louisiana
Minnesota
Mississippi
Montana
New York
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


As for the other states, maximum security deposits vary from one months rent (

Alabama

,

Delaware

,

District of Columbia

,

Hawaii

,

Kansas

(unfurnished apartments),

Massachusetts

,

Nebraska

(if no pets),

New Hampshire

,

New Mexico

,

North Dakota

(if no pets),

Pennsylvania

(in 2

nd

and subsequent year of leases),

Rhode Island

and

South Dakota

) to three months’ rent (Nevada). All other states cap deposits at 1.5 to 2 months’ rent or some variation on that theme, with some states granting special allowances to landlords to charge more to tenants with pets or other special circumstances.

In

Nevada

, the renter can post a bond for up to three months’ rent if the landlord also agrees.

More details on state-by-state limits on security deposits are available

here



Back to your question: You also asked where you can find more information on what landlords can and can’t do. Be sure to check the New York City link above. Additionally,

Here’s a guide from the state Attorney General’s office detailing tenants’ rights within the state.

  Per the Attorney General, it is illegal to require money over and above allowable rent security deposits and rent for preference – a practice called charging “key money.”

Ref. NY Penal Law Section 180.55.





Author Bio
Writing about personal finance and investments since 1999, Jason Van Steenwyk started as a reporter with Mutual Funds Magazine and served as editor of Investors’ Digest. He now publishes feature articles in many publications including Annuity Selling Guide, Bankrate.com, and more.



Find Property Managers Near You
We work tirelessly to find the best property managers so you don’t have to. Please see our recommended property management companies below for your area or filter by property and zip for a perfect match.
Select Property Type
  • HOME / CONDO
    • Single Home or Condo (Valued up to $300K)
    • Single Home or Condo ($300K to $500K)
    • Single Home or Condo ($500K to $1 Million)
    • Single Home or Condo (Over $1 Million)
  • APARTMENT
    • Multi-Family (2-4 units)
    • Multi-Family (5-19 units)
    • Multi-Family (20-99 units)
    • Multi-Family (100+ units)
  • HOA
    • Homeowners Association (2-49 units)
    • Homeowners Association (50-99 units)
    • Homeowners Association (100+ units)
  • COA
    • Condominium Association (2-49 units)
    • Condominium Association (50-99 units)
    • Condominium Association (100+ units)
  • COMMERCIAL
    • Retail (Up to 9,999 sqft)
    • Retail (10,000 - 100,000 sqft)
    • Retail (100,000+ sqft)
    • Office (Up to 9,999 sqft)
    • Office (10,000 - 100,000 sqft)
    • Office (100,000+ sqft)
    • Warehouse/Distribution (Up to 100,000 sqft)
    • Warehouse/Distribution (100,000+ sqft)
    • Light Manufacturing (Up to 100,000 sqft)
    • Light Manufacturing (100,000+ sqft)
    • Parking Garage
    • Biotech/Mission-Critical
  • SHORT-TERM
    • Vacation (1-2 units)
    • Vacation (3+ units)
  • OTHER
    • Other Associations (Hotel, Resort etc.)
    • Mobile Home Community
Find Property Managers Near You
Select Property Type
  • HOME / CONDO
    • Single Home or Condo (Valued up to $300K)
    • Single Home or Condo ($300K to $500K)
    • Single Home or Condo ($500K to $1 Million)
    • Single Home or Condo (Over $1 Million)
  • APARTMENT
    • Multi-Family (2-4 units)
    • Multi-Family (5-19 units)
    • Multi-Family (20-99 units)
    • Multi-Family (100+ units)
  • HOA
    • Homeowners Association (2-49 units)
    • Homeowners Association (50-99 units)
    • Homeowners Association (100+ units)
  • COA
    • Condominium Association (2-49 units)
    • Condominium Association (50-99 units)
    • Condominium Association (100+ units)
  • COMMERCIAL
    • Retail (Up to 9,999 sqft)
    • Retail (10,000 - 100,000 sqft)
    • Retail (100,000+ sqft)
    • Office (Up to 9,999 sqft)
    • Office (10,000 - 100,000 sqft)
    • Office (100,000+ sqft)
    • Warehouse/Distribution (Up to 100,000 sqft)
    • Warehouse/Distribution (100,000+ sqft)
    • Light Manufacturing (Up to 100,000 sqft)
    • Light Manufacturing (100,000+ sqft)
    • Parking Garage
    • Biotech/Mission-Critical
  • SHORT-TERM
    • Vacation (1-2 units)
    • Vacation (3+ units)
  • OTHER
    • Other Associations (Hotel, Resort etc.)
    • Mobile Home Community