Security Deposit Collection Laws by State

Last Updated: October 26, 2023 by Ashley Porter

Find out how much a landlord can ask for a security deposit, what documentation they are (or aren’t) required to provide when collecting one, and other rules about the security deposit collection process.

Maximum Security Deposit by State

Some states limit the maximum security deposit, like in Michigan, where the security deposit cannot be more than 1½ months’ rent. However, many states have no limit to the maximum security deposit, so landlords can collect as much as they choose—although it must still be a “reasonable” amount.

Most states with limits calculate their maximum as a multiplier of the monthly rent (such as 1x or 2x the monthly rent amount).

State Maximum Security Deposit
Alabama
  • 1 month’s rent + pet deposit, property modification costs, and anything else that could add risk for the landlord (such as a tenant with prior evictions)
Alaska
  • 2 months’ rent + pet deposit
  • No limit if rent exceeds $2,000 per month
Arizona
  • 1½ months’ rent
  • 2 months rent for mobile homes
Arkansas
  • 2 months’ rent
  • No limit for landlords who own fewer than 6 units and do not use a property management service
California
  • 2 months’ rent for unfurnished units
  • 3 months’ rent for furnished
  • + ½ months’ rent for a waterbed
  • Subtract one month’s rent for an active service member (unless service member has a history of poor credit, damaging rental property, or at least one person on the lease is not a spouse, domestic partner, parent, or dependent)
  • 2 months’ rent maximum for mobile homes
Colorado
  • 1 month’s rent for mobile homes
  • 2 months’ rent for all other housing types
Connecticut
  • 2 months’ rent for tenants under 62)
  • 1 month’s rent for tenants 62 years old or older)
  • Additional deposit can be collected for a key or special equipment
Delaware
  • 1 month’s rent + pet deposit
  • No limit for furnished units
  • No limit for leases shorter than 1 year
Florida
  • No limit
Georgia
  • No limit
Hawaii
  • 1 month’s rent + pet deposit
Idaho
  • No limit
Illinois
  • 1 month’s rent for mobile homes
  • No limit for all other housing types
Indiana
  • No limit
Iowa
  • 2 months’ rent
Kansas
  • 1 month’s rent for unfurnished units
  • 1½ months’ rent for furnished units
  • 2 months’ rent for mobile homes
  • +½ month’s rent for pet deposit
Kentucky
  • No limit
Louisiana
  • No limit
Maine
  • 2 months’ rent
  • 3 months’ rent for mobile homes
Maryland
  • 2 months’ rent
Massachusetts
  • 1 month’s rent
Michigan
  • 1½ months’ rent
Minnesota
  • No limit
Mississippi
  • No limit
Missouri
  • 2 months’ rent + pet deposit
Montana
  • No limit
Nebraska
  • 1 month’s rent + pet deposit
Nevada
  • 3 months’ rent
New Hampshire
  • 1 month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater (single family properties if the owner only has one property and owner-occupied buildings with 5 or fewer units are exempt)
New Jersey
  • 1½ months’ rent
New Mexico
  • 1 month’s rent for leases shorter than 1 year
  • No limit for leases 1 year or longer
  • 1 month’s rent for standard mobile homes
  • 2 months’ rent for double-wide mobile homes
New York
  • 1 month’s rent
North Carolina
  • 2 weeks’ rent for week-to-week
  • 1½ months’ rent for month-to-month
  • 2 months for longer than month-to-month
North Dakota
  • 1 month’s rent + 2 months’ rent or $2,500 (whichever is greater) for a pet deposit
  • 2 months’ rent for tenants with felonies or judgments
Ohio
  • No limit
Oklahoma
  • No limit
Oregon
  • No limit
Pennsylvania
  • 2 months’ rent for first year
  • 1 month’s rent for leases after the 1st year
Rhode Island
  • 1 month’s rent + up to 1 more month’s rent for rentals with furnishings valued over $5,000
South Carolina
  • No limit
South Dakota
  • 1 month’s rent + pet deposit
Tennessee
  • No limit
Texas
  • No limit
Utah
  • No limit
Vermont
  • No limit
Virginia
  • 2 months’ rent
Washington
  • No limit
Washington D.C.
  • 1 month’s rent
West Virginia
  • No limit
Wisconsin
  • No limit
Wyoming
  • No limit

Maximum Pet Deposit by State

All states allow landlords to collect pet deposits. In many states, there is no limit to the pet deposit. However, in some states, the total security deposit including the pet deposit cannot exceed that state’s security deposit limit.

For example, in New York, the maximum security deposit is one month’s rent, which must include the pet deposit. Landlords cannot collect one month’s rent as a “security deposit” and a second month’s rent as a “pet deposit.”

State Maximum Pet Deposit
Alabama
  • No limit
Alaska
  • 1 month’s rent
Arizona Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent for mobile homes
  • 1½ months’ rent for other housing types
Arkansas Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent
California Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent for unfurnished units
  • 3 months’ rent for furnished units
  • Minus one month’s rent for an active service member
Colorado Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1 month’s rent for mobile homes
  • 2 months’ rent for other housing types
Connecticut Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent for tenants under 62
  • 1 month’s rent for tenants 62 years old or older
Delaware
  • 1 month’s rent
Florida
  • No limit
Georgia
  • No limit
Hawaii
  • 1 month’s rent
Idaho
  • No limit
Illinois
  • No limit
Indiana
  • No limit
Iowa Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent
Kansas
  • ½ month’s rent
Kentucky
  • No limit
Louisiana
  • No limit
Maine Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 3 months’ rent for mobile homes
  • 2 months’ rent for other housing types
Maryland Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent
Massachusetts Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1 month’s rent
Michigan Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1½ months’ rent
Minnesota
  • No limit
Mississippi
  • No limit
Missouri
  • No limit
Montana
  • No limit
Nebraska
  • ¼ month’s rent
Nevada Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 3 months’ rent
New Hampshire Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1 month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater
New Jersey Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1½ months’ rent
New Mexico Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1 month’s rent for leases shorter than 1 year
  • No limit for leases 1 year or longer
  • 1 month’s rent for standard mobile homes
  • 2 months’ rent for double-wide mobile homes
New York Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1 month’s rent
North Carolina Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 weeks’ rent for week-to-week
  • 1½ months’ rent for month-to-month
  • 2 months’ rent for longer than month-to-month
North Dakota
  • $2,500 or 2 months’ rent, whichever is greater
Ohio
  • No limit
Oklahoma
  • No limit
Oregon
  • No limit
Pennsylvania Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent
  • Except only 1 month’s rent for leases that are renewed beyond the 1st year
Rhode Island Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1 month’s rent
South Carolina
  • No limit
South Dakota
  • No limit
Tennessee
  • No limit
Texas
  • No limit
Utah
  • No limit
Vermont
  • No limit
Virginia Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 2 months’ rent
Washington
  • No limit
Washington D.C. Total of all deposits cannot exceed:
  • 1 month’s rent
West Virginia
  • No limit
Wisconsin
  • No limit
Wyoming
  • No limit

Do Landlords Have to Provide a Receipt for a Security Deposit?

Many states require that landlords provide documentation when collecting a security deposit, like a receipt. Some state laws require landlords to provide specific information on the receipt in addition to the amount of the deposit, like the name and address of the bank where the security deposit is held.

The following states require that landlords provide a receipt or some form of written disclosure regarding the security deposit:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wisconsin

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Do Landlords Have to Use Escrow for Security Deposits?

The following states require that landlords hold security deposits in escrow, sometimes separate from their own funds, to guarantee that the funds will not be spent before the lease term ends.

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

Landlords should be familiar with the holding requirements for security deposits to avoid potential penalties.

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Do Landlords Owe Interest on Security Deposits?

In some states, landlords are required to provide interest on security deposits. The specific interest rate may be established by law, for example, 1% interest is required in Missouri. Some states change the rate of interest every year or base the rate on typical interest rates in certain types of accounts.

The following states require that landlords provide interest on security deposits in some or all situations.

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington D.C.

However, even though state law does not require landlords to provide interest on security deposits, cities and towns can require it. For example, California state law does not require landlords to provide interest on security deposits, but the laws of some cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco do.

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What Happens to a Security Deposit When the Property is Sold?

When a rental property is sold, the security deposit still belongs to the tenant. In most states, landlords are required to transfer all security deposits to the new owner.

However, in some states, landlords can choose instead to return the security deposits to the tenants. In some cases, landlords or buyers must notify the tenants in writing of the sale and transfer.

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