Many landlords decide to contact a Yonkers eviction attorney when a former tenant confronts them over security deposit issues. Unfortunately, many tenants and landlords are confused about New York’s security deposit law, resulting in ill will on both sides. How to avoid confusion? If you are a landlord, it’s important that you understand your rights and responsibilities. Here are a few things that you, and every landlord, should know before accepting a security deposit:
Deadline for Security Deposit Return
While there are several laws that pertain to security deposits, one of the most important is the deadline for returning a security deposit to a tenant. New York law doesn’t actually give a hard deadline. Instead, it states that a landlord must return the deposit within a “reasonable” amount of time. Judges have generally held that 21 to 45 days constitutes a reasonable deadline. But deadlines aren’t the only consideration here. For example, you may have a tenant who has technically “moved out” but who still has a key and hasn’t removed all their belongings. You may also have a tenant who no longer lives in the unit, but still owes you rent. A housing lawyer can advise you on how to handle this situation, including returning the deposit.
Security Deposit Limits
New York State law does not restrict the amount of a security deposit. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can always charge as much as you like. Some municipalities have restrictions on the size of deposits, so you should make sure you understand these rules before setting a security deposit for a tenant.
Security Deposit Interest Payments
In some buildings, such as those with six or more units, a landlord may be required to pay the tenant interest on the security deposit. The interest amount is the “prevailing rate,” and the tenant can decide how he or she wants to receive this payment. Your tenants’ choices include receiving the interest as a lump sum when the tenant moves, receiving an annual payment of interest or asking you to deduct the interest from the rent.
Notifying Tenants of Deposit Location
You must keep your tenants’ security deposits separate from your own funds. If you keep the deposits in a bank account, you must tell your tenants the name and location of the bank.
If you have evicted your tenant, issues surrounding the return of the security deposit can become complicated. A housing lawyer may be of great assistance in these cases, particularly if you are concerned that the tenant might take you to court.
Contact a Yonkers Eviction Attorney
If you want to be in compliance with New York security deposit laws, talk with an attorney about your situation. Rogers & Rogers, Esq. is an experienced firm that represents landlords. We can be contacted at (718) 994-1640 When you call, we’ll put you in touch with an experienced Yonkers eviction attorney who can help you navigate your situation.