Kansas Security Deposit Returns and Deductions

Kansas Security Deposit Returns and Deductions

Last Updated: January 24, 2024 by Phil Ahn

Quick Facts Answer
Acceptable Deductions
  • Unpaid rent and late fees
  • Costs of damage
  • Charges outlined in lease
Return Deadline 14 or 30 Days
Itemized Deductions Required
Penalty for Late Return 1.5x Amount Due

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

Security Deposit Deductions in Kansas

In Kansas, the following can be deducted from security deposits:

  • Unpaid rent and late fees
  • Costs of damage excluding normal wear and tear
  • Other charges outlined in the lease agreement

Most states, such as Kansas, 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 and Tear in Kansas?

“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 Kansas?

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


A carpet that is slightly discolored or gently worn will be considered normal wear and tear. A carpet with visible stains, major discoloration and rips will be considered excessively damaged.

Can the Landlord Charge for Nail Holes in Kansas?

Landlords in Kansas 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 Kansas?

Kansas law allows landlords to charge a reasonable cleaning fee to bring the rental unit back to its original condition at the start of the lease.

Can the Landlord Charge for Painting in Kansas?

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

Ordinary wear includes:

  • Minor scrapes from daily use
  • Fading due to sunlight
  • 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.

Security Deposit Returns in Kansas

Landlords must return a security deposit within 14 days after determining the amount of deductions or within 30 days after conditions are met if no deductions are made. 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 Kansas?

Kansas landlords have 14 or 30 days to return any remaining portion of a security deposit with interest, whichever is earlier:

  • 14 days after the landlord determines deductions(other than for rent)
  • 30 days after the lease term ends and the tenant vacates the unit

Do Landlords Owe Interest on Security Deposits in Kansas?

Unlike in some states, such as New Jersey, landlords in Kansas do not owe interest on security deposits.

How Do Landlords Give Notice in Kansas?

Written notice must be mailed to the tenant’s last known address and must include the amount of the security deposit due, if any, to the tenant, plus an itemized statement of deductions.

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

Tenants are not permitted to apply the security deposit towards last month’s rent. If they do so, they forfeit the full security deposit and are still liable for the payment of last month’s rent.

However, Kansas law allows the landlord to make deductions from the security deposit for any outstanding rent.

Security Deposit Disputes in Kansas

If landlords do not return the security deposit within 30 days, tenants can file in court for the amount due plus damages up to one and one-half times the amount wrongfully withheld.

Tenants can also take legal action against a landlord for:

  • Failure to provide a written statement when deductions are made
  • Failure to conduct an initial inspection
  • Unreasonable deductions

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

If a landlord fails to return the security deposit, the tenant can file a dispute in Small Claims Court if the amount of damages is less than $4,000. If the amount is greater, the tenant must file a civil case in the local District Court.

A small claims case must be filed within 3 or 5 years depending on whether the lease agreement was oral or written. An attorney is not required or permitted in most situations. Cases are typically filed in the Small Claims Court for the county where the property is located.