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Additional resources for American Landlord Law: Everything U Need to Know About Landlord-Tenant Laws (American Real Estate)
A guide is provided on the next three pages to summarize the interest rate requirements as of the date of this publication. 5% Delaware No statute District of Columbia Pay at termination, at current passbook rate Florida Not required, but if made must pay annually and at termination; tenant who wrongfully terminates is not entitled to; lease agreement must give details on interest Georgia No statute Hawaii No statute Idaho No statute Illinois Required if owner has 25+ properties adjacent to each other or in same building; if security deposit held for longer than 6 months, must pay annually and at termination Indiana No statute Iowa Not required, but if paid must pay at termination; however, any interest earned during the first 5 years is landlord’s Kansas No statute Kentucky No statute Louisiana No statute Maine No statute Maryland Must pay semi-annually, at a rate of 4% if deposit is greater than $50 Massachusetts Must pay annually and within 30 days of termination, at a rate of 5% or the actual rate earned; no interest for last month's rent paid in advance Michigan No statute Proper Collection and Handling Minnesota Must pay at a rate of 1%; total interest under $1 does not need to be paid Mississippi No statute Missouri No statute Montana No statute Nebraska No statute Nevada No statute New Hampshire Only required if deposit held for a year or longer; must pay at termination; tenant can request payment every 3 years if request made within 30 days of tenancy expiration/renewal; rate must be equal to the rate paid on the bank savings account where deposited New Jersey Must pay annually or credit back to rent owed; landlord with less than 10 units can put deposit in any insured interest-bearing bank account; those with 10 or more must put funds in an insured money market account that matures in a year or less or in any other account that pays interest at a comparable rate to a money market account New Mexico Must pay annually at rate equal to passbook rate if deposit is more than 1 month's rent and there is a year lease New York Must pay at prevailing rate if unit is covered under rent control or stabilization requirements or if building has 6 or more units; landlord can keep 1% admin fee a year North Carolina No statute North Dakota Must pay interest if tenancy is at least 9 months; deposit must be put in an insured interest-bearing savings or checking acct Ohio Must pay annually and at termination, at a rate of 5% if the tenancy is 6 months or more and the deposit is greater than $50 or 1 month's rent whichever is greater - the interest only accrues on the excess of the $50 or 1-month rent amount Oklahoma No statute Oregon No statute Pennsylvania Must pay if tenancy is longer than 2 years; interest accrues from start of 25th month of tenancy and must be paid annually after that point; landlord can deduct 1% fee Rhode Island No statute South Carolina No statute South Dakota No statute Tennessee No statute 23 24 Chapter 2: Security Deposits Texas No statute Utah No statute Vermont No statute Virginia Must pay if deposit is held for more than 13 months for continued tenancy in same unit; interest accrues from start of lease and must be paid at termination; must be at rate of 1% below FED discount rate as of Jan.
However, you cannot charge additional security as a means of retaliating against your tenant if that tenant complains to you or authorities about his or her living conditions (including maintenance and repair issues). You also cannot increase a tenant’s security deposit as an act of discrimination against his or her civil rights. Any increase you propose must be done justly and within reason. So, if you increase one tenant’s deposit because he or she wants to set up an aquarium, then you must increase the deposit of the next tenant who wants an aquarium.
What If a Tenant Sues Me? Well, unfortunately, it does happen. A tenant can have as long as 10 years in some states to come back at you for something as simple as the remaining security deposit. Again, most of these cases are filed in a small claims court, which usually handles disputes of $5,000 or less. On the next four pages are two guides for every state regarding how much time tenants have to file a case against you and the maximum amount they can collect in a small claims court. Note: Tenants always have the option of suing you in a higher court if they choose, especially if the amount they are trying to collect exceeds the maximum amount permissible in a small claims court.