Security Deposit Receipt

Last Updated: January 24, 2023 by Robert Bailey

A Security Deposit Receipt is sent by a landlord to a tenant as proof of a tenant’s payment of their security deposit. It also includes information as to where the deposit is being held for the duration of the lease term.

Why Prepare a Security Deposit Receipt?

At the beginning of a lease, tenants are typically required to provide a refundable security deposit. The security deposit is commonly provided to secure payment for potential damages the landlord might incur during a tenant’s lease. Ideally, it is a financial incentive for the renter to maintain the property and keep the terms of the lease.

When a tenant provides a security deposit, a landlord will usually provide the tenant a security deposit receipt as proof of their payment. Here are some specific reasons why a landlord should prepare a Security Deposit Receipt after receiving a tenant’s security deposit:

  1. Documentation – Providing a receipt when receiving a security deposit provides written documentation that the landlord received a tenant’s security deposit. This helps keep communication clear and, if there is a later dispute, this receipt may be helpful for both the landlord and tenant.
  2. Provides Tenant with Additional Information – The Security Deposit Receipt also provides additional information to the tenant such as bank account information for where the security deposit will be held.
  3. Legal Requirement – In the following nine states a security deposit is required: (1) Florida, (2) Kentucky, (3) Maryland, (4) Massachusetts, (5) Michigan, (6) New Hampshire, (7) New York, (8) North Carolina, and (9) Washington. A receipt is also required in Washington D.C.

What to Include in a Security Deposit Receipt

A Security Deposit Receipt will provide confirmation and additional details on the receipt of a tenant’s security deposit and should include the following:

  1. Date
  2. Tenant’s name and current address
  3. A friendly greeting to the tenant
  4. Security deposit amount
  5. The date the security deposit was received
  6. The date the landlord deposited these funds
  7. The bank account where the security deposit is being held along with the bank’s complete address and the account number
  8. Confirmation that the security deposit will be held in this separate bank account for the duration of the lease term
  9. The date the lease agreement was signed
  10. Landlord’s name and signature

A copy of this receipt should be filed with a notation of the means used to deliver the receipt and any other relevant information such as how the landlord was paid (e.g., cash, check, credit card, etc.).

Sending a Security Deposit Receipt to a Tenant

While many states do not have a specific requirement for when this receipt must be sent, it should be provided to the tenant as soon as possible after they provide their security deposit.

This receipt should be delivered in a way that requires signature confirmation when received, such as certified mail. Even better if a landlord sends it by restricted certified mail which requires the tenant to be the only person that can sign for the receipt.  To ensure it was received you can also send an additional copy via email or provide it in person.

Security Deposit Limits

There are other important items to consider when it comes to security deposits. Landlords also need to know how much of a security deposit they can request. Maximum security deposits are governed by state law. See the chart below for every state’s requirements for security deposit limits.

State Security Deposit Limit
Alabama 1 month’s rent
Alaska 2 months’ rent
Arizona 2 months’ rent
Arkansas 2 months’ rent only for rentals with landlords who have 6 units or more
California 2 months’ rent (unfurnished unit); 3 months’ rent (furnished unit)
Colorado Not addressed
Connecticut 2 months’ rent but for tenants 62 years of age or older, 1 month’s rent
Delaware 1 month’s rent only for leases with a term of 1 year or more; For month-to-month tenancies, no limit for the first year, but after that, the limit is one month’s rent
Florida No statutory limit
Georgia No statutory limit
Hawaii 1 month’s rent. Landlords may require an additional 1 month’s rent as a security deposit for tenants who keep a pet.
Idaho No statutory limit
Illinois No statutory limit
Indiana No statutory limit
Iowa Two months’ rent
Kansas 1 ½ months’ rent (furnished unit); 1 month’s rent(unfurnished unit)
Kentucky No statutory limit
Louisiana No statutory limit
Maine 2 month’s rent
Maryland 2 month’s rent
Massachusetts 1 month’s rent
Michigan 1 ½ months’ rent
Minnesota No statutory limit
Mississippi No statutory limit
Missouri Two months’ rent
Montana No statutory limit
Nebraska 1 month’s rent (no pets); 1 and 1/4 months’ rent (pets)
Nevada 3 months’ rent
New Hampshire 1 month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater
New Jersey 1 ½ months’ rent
New Mexico 1 month’s rent only for leases with a term of less than 1 year; no limit for longer leases
New York 1 month’s limit for units other than those subject to the City Rent and Rehabilitation Law or the Emergency Housing Rent Control Law.
North Carolina 1 and 1/2 months’ rent for month-to-month rental agreements; 2 months’ rent if a term is longer than 2 months; may add an additional “reasonable” non-refundable pet deposit.
North Dakota 1 month’s rent
Ohio No statutory limit
Oklahoma No statutory limit
Oregon No statutory limit
Pennsylvania 2 months’ rent; 1 month’s rent for leases that are renewed beyond the first year
Rhode Island 1 month’s rent
South Carolina No statutory limit
South Dakota 1 month’s rent
Tennessee No statutory limit
Texas No statutory limit
Utah No statutory limit
Vermont No statutory limit
Virginia 2 months’ rent
Washington No statutory limit
Washington D.C. One month’s rent
West Virginia No statutory limit
Wisconsin No statutory limit
Wyoming No statutory limit

Returning a Security Deposit

At the end of the lease, the landlord will be required to return the security deposit to the tenant (in some states with accrued interest) as long as there are no outstanding damages or lease violations that allow for withholding the security deposit.

If there are any deductions from the security deposit the landlord should note them in their Security Deposit Return Letter. If the landlord is not returning any of a tenant’s security deposit see our sample letter for not returning a security deposit. See the chart below for every state’s requirements for returning a tenant’s security deposit.

State Time to Return Security Deposit
Alabama 60 days
Alaska 14 days with proper notice, 30 days without proper notice, or if the landlord is deducting any amount from the security deposit
Arizona 14 days
Arkansas 60 days
California 21 days
Colorado 1 month, unless a longer period is provided in the lease agreement (no more than 60 days)
Connecticut 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving the tenant’s forwarding address (whichever is later)
Delaware 20 days
Florida 15-60 days (depending on whether the tenant disputes any deductions)
Georgia 30 days
Hawaii 14 days
Idaho 21 days
Illinois 7 days
Indiana 30-45 days (depending on whether the tenant disputes any deductions or if the landlord provided any statements or receipts)
Iowa 30 days
Kansas 30 days
Kentucky 30-60 days (depending on whether the tenant disputes any deductions)
Louisiana 1 month
Maine 30 days for a written agreement and 21 days for a tenancy at will
Maryland 45 days
Massachusetts 30 days
Michigan 30 days
Minnesota 21 days
Mississippi 45 days
Missouri 30 days
Montana 10 days (30 days if there are deductions)
Nebraska 14 days
Nevada 30 days
New Hampshire 30 days
New Jersey 30 days
New Mexico 30 days
New York 14 days
North Carolina 30 days
North Dakota 30 days
Ohio 30 days
Oklahoma 45 days
Oregon 31 days
Pennsylvania 30 days
Rhode Island 20 days
South Carolina 30 days
South Dakota 14 days (45 days for an itemized accounting if requested by the tenant)
Tennessee No statute
Texas 30 days
Utah 30 days
Vermont 14 days
Virginia 45 days
Washington 21 days
Washington D.C. 45 days
West Virginia 60 days, or within 45 days of the occupancy of a new tenant (whichever is shorter). The deadline can be extended by 15 days if damage exceeds the amount of the security deposit and the landlord has to hire a contractor to fix it
Wisconsin 21 days
Wyoming 30 days (an additional 30 days are allowed if there are deductions due to damage)