TIP OF THE MONTH - April 2014
Applying the Security Deposit to the Last Months Rent
Source: New York Landlord’s Law Book
Mary Ann Hallenborg
notice, a Tenant may ask you to apply the Security Deposit towards the
last month’s rent. If no portion of the Tenant’s deposit was
labeled last month’s rent, you are not legally obliged to apply it in
Why should you object if a Tenant asks to use a deposit you are already
holding as payment for the last month’s rent? The problem is that you
can’t know in advance what the property will look like when the tenant
leaves. If the tenant leaves his apartment a mess, but the whole
Security Deposit has gone to pay the last month’s rent, obviously you
will have nothing left to use to make repairs or clean the
apartment. You will have to absorb the loss or sue the Tenant.
Send an itemization even if you don’t send money. Quite a few
Landlords mistakenly believe that they don’t have to account for the
deposit to a Tenant who’s been evicted by court order or who breaks the
Lease. But a Tenant’s misconduct does not entitle a Landlord to
pocket the entire deposit without further formality. In general,
even if the Tenant leaves owing several month’s rent….more than the
amount of the deposit….you should still notify the Tenant in writing,
within 30 days, as to how the deposit has been applied toward cleaning
or repair charges and unpaid rent. You may then need to sue the
Tenant if the deposit doesn’t cover all damage and unpaid rent.
TIP FROM CROSSETT REAL ESTATE SERVICES
We counsel prospective Tenants and Landlords that our Lease states that
any/all deposits will never be applicable for rent at any time.
This web page was updated on 04/02/2014.