Connecticut Security Deposit Returns & Deductions

Connecticut Security Deposit Returns & Deductions

Last Updated: February 9, 2023 by Ashley Porter

Quick Facts Answer
Acceptable Deductions
  • Unpaid rent
  • Costs of damage
Return Deadline 15 or 30 Days
Itemized Deductions Required
Penalty for Late Return 2x Security deposit + court costs

For laws on security deposit collections and holdings in Connecticut, click here.

Security Deposit Deductions in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the following things can be deducted from security deposits:

  • Unpaid rent, utilities, and late fees
  • Costs of damage excluding normal wear and tear

Most states, such as Connecticut, do not have a legal limit on how much a landlord can charge for damages except that the charges must be reasonable.

If the cost of the damages exceeds the amount of the security deposit, landlords are entitled to seek additional damages from the former tenant.

What is Considered Normal Wear & Tear vs Damage in Connecticut?

Normal wear and tear is damage that is expected when a rental unit is used in a normal way, such as gently worn carpets and faded walls. Damage is the destruction caused by abusive or negligent use of a rental unit, like ripped carpets and heavily stained walls.

“Normal wear and tear” is deterioration that occurs naturally as a result of the tenant using the property as it was designed to be used.

Examples include:

  • Gently worn carpets
  • Lightly scratched glass
  • Faded paint and flooring
  • Lightly dirtied grout
  • Loose door handles
  • Stained bath fixtures

“Damage” means destruction to the rental unit that occurs because of abuse or negligence by a tenant during the course of the tenancy.

Examples include:

  • Heavily stained, burned, or torn carpets
  • Broken tiles or windows
  • Holes in the wall
  • Missing fixtures

Can the Landlord Charge for Replacing the Carpet in Connecticut?

Yes, landlords can charge for replacing the carpet if it is damaged beyond normal wear and tear.

Some wear and tear on a rental unit’s carpet is expected after normal day-to-day use of the property. For example, carpets typically become discolored, indented, or gently worn, when used in a normal way. However, non-typical, abusive use of carpet results in rips, visible stains, or burns. Landlords have the right to charge the tenant for the replacement of the carpet in areas where serious damage has occurred.

Can the Landlord Charge for Nail Holes in Connecticut?

Yes, landlords can charge a tenant for nail holes if they damage the walls in a way that is not a result of ordinary enjoyment of the rental unit.

Tenants have the right to use the walls within their unit in a reasonable way. This includes inserting small nails or thumbtacks to hang posters or pictures. However, large holes from drilling, multiple nail holes, large nail holes, and holes made for hanging heavier things may be considered damage and thus, chargeable to the tenant.

Can the Landlord Charge a Cleaning Fee in Connecticut?

Landlords in Connecticut can charge a cleaning fee if the tenant causes damage that requires cleaning (e.g. wine stains on the carpet).

Can the Landlord Charge for Painting in Connecticut?

Yes, in Connecticut, landlords can charge for painting, except for normal wear and tear. For example, if the tenant:

  • Causes damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • Repaints the wall but is not permitted to do so under the lease agreement
  • Repaints the wall in an unprofessional way

Normal wear includes minor scrapes from daily use, fading due to sunlight, or minor cracks in the original paint. Landlords can charge for repainting if the damage is not the result of normal use. This includes stains, large or deep scratches, and water damage.

Can a Security Deposit Be Used for Last Month’s Rent in Connecticut?

Connecticut law does not forbid the security deposit from being used for any outstanding rent.

Landlords can include a provision in the lease agreement that the security deposit cannot be used for the last month’s rent until the tenant vacates the rental unit.

Security Deposit Returns in Connecticut

Landlords must return a security deposit with interest within 15 days after the tenant provides a forwarding address or within 30 days after the lease term ends, whichever is later. If the landlord intends to make deductions, they must include an itemized statement of deductions.

How Long Do Landlords Have to Return Security Deposits in Connecticut?

Connecticut landlords have 15 or 30 days to return any remaining portion of a security deposit with interest, whichever is later:

  • 15 days after the tenant provides a forwarding address; or
  • 30 days after the lease term ends

Do Landlords Owe Interest on Security Deposits in Connecticut?

Landlords in Connecticut do owe interest on security deposits, except for dorms and mobile homes. The minimum interest rate is 0.27% for 2023. However, tenants are not entitled to interest for any month in which they paid rent more than 10 days late unless the landlord charges a late rent fee.


In Connecticut, last month’s rent collected in advance is considered a security deposit and thus, tenants are entitled to interest.

How Do Landlords Give Notice / What Information Do They Have to Provide in Connecticut?

If deductions are to be made from the security deposit, an itemized statement of deductions must be delivered to the tenant’s forwarding address. The statement must include the purpose and amount of each deduction.

Security Deposit Disputes in Connecticut

If landlords do not return the security deposit or provide a written statement of deductions, if any, within the required time period, tenants can file for damages in court up to twice the amount of the deposit plus court costs.

Tenants can also take legal action against a landlord for:

  • Failure to properly hold the security deposit in an escrow account
  • Failure to provide interest
  • Unreasonable deductions

How Can Tenants File a Dispute for a Security Deposit in Connecticut?

If a landlord fails to perform their obligations regarding a security deposit, the tenant can file a dispute in the small claims division of Superior Court if the amount disputed is less than $5,000. If the judge awards the tenant with double damages, the amount of the judgment may exceed $5,000.

A small claims case regarding the return of a security deposit must be filed within 3 or 6 years depending on whether the lease agreement was oral or written.

Cases are filed in Superior Court in the county where the property is located. An attorney is not required but permitted. The filing fee is $95.

Our website provides more information about the process of filing a dispute in Small Claims Court.