How to Get Your Security Deposit Back
As a New Yorker, you can relate to the hassle of finding the perfect apartment more than anyone. Choosing the right neighborhood, finding the apartment, signing the lease, and making all the payments is a very time-consuming process. You also must pay a large sum of money for the security deposit, first and last month, and broker’s fee. Obviously, first and last month of the rent and broker’s fee is well-spent money. The big question is can you get your security deposit back?
According to NYC Rent Guideline Board, there are only two reasons why your landlord can withhold your security deposit:
- Wear and tear to the apartment
- Any unpaid rent
Only if you didn’t pay some of your rent or you damaged the apartment, then your landlord has a right to withhold your security deposit fully or partially. There are no other reasons not to give your security deposit. You can read it yourself below, and there is more info on the NYC Rent Guideline Board website.
The landlord must return the security deposit, less any lawful deduction, to the tenant at the end of the lease or within a reasonable time thereafter. A landlord may use the security deposit: (a) as reimbursement for the reasonable cost of repairs beyond normal wear and tear if the tenant damages the apartment; or (b) as reimbursement for any unpaid rent.
By the way, these two are only valid if your lease is ended. Hence, if you are breaking your lease, you more likely won’t receive any of your deposit back. However, most landlords will work with you if you find another tenant who is ready to take over the rest of your lease. That way you can get all or part of your security deposit while the new tenant will pay his/her own.
If you are moving out soon, use this local moving checklist to organize your move.