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A Short Guide to Security Deposits

Posted by attorney Karen Poirier

There are very specific laws concerning security deposits. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant it is important that you know the laws so you can protect your rights. Some important things to know about security deposits in the State of Connecticut are:

  1. The purpose of a security deposit is to protect a landlord from any physical damage to the property during the tenancy.
  2. A landlord cannot require a security deposit that is equal to more than two month’s rent.
  3. A security deposit is supposed to be held in an escrow account. (Not the landlord’s personal account.)
  4. A tenant is entitled to the interest earned by the security deposit, but only for months in which the rent is paid on time.
  5. Security deposits, together with the interest, must be returned to a tenant within 30 after the tenant vacates the property.
  6. If a landlord intends to keep any portion of a security deposit, the landlord must give the tenant written notice of the amount being withheld, and an itemized list outlining what the money was used to fix or remedy.
  7. Different rules may apply if the tenant is 62 years or older.

Helpful hints:

  • If you are a landlord take pictures of the property just before the tenant moves in and if there is damage after the tenant leaves, take pictures.
  • If you are a tenant, take pictures of the property when you move in and take note of any existing damage. If you do find damage, notify the landlord immediately in writing so that you have documentation evidencing that the damage existed when you moved in. It is also very important to take pictures the day you move out.
  • Any substantive communication concerning the condition of the property, the lease terms, rent, etc., should be made in writing. If possible, communicate by email, that way there is an electric copy that cannot be thrown out or lost.

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