Rental Security Deposits
Key Issues for
Landlords and Tenants
Landlords, once you give the key to your rental apartment or home to a tenant, you must follow basic rules for security deposits.
Tenants, once you accept the key to your new home, you must also follow guidelines to protect your security deposit.
Connecticut law outlines the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants about the collection, holding and return of rent security deposits. This publication answers common questions on rent security deposits. It's our attempt to help both landlords and tenants understand their obligations and Connecticut's law. You may wish to review Section 47a-21 of the Connecticut general statutes for more detailed information. See also the DOB booklet regarding rental security deposit laws.
The rental security deposit interest rate for 2019 is 0.15%.
Previous Year's Rental Security Deposit Interest Rates:
The following Excel Worksheet was designed to provide assistance in determining the interest that is owed on rental security deposits: Interest Calculation Table
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Security Deposit?
A security deposit is any advance rental payment other than an advance for the first month's rent or a deposit for a key or any special equipment. A security deposit remains the tenant's property but the landlord holds a security interest in it. Security deposits must be kept in an escrow account in a Connecticut bank.
How Large A Security Deposit Can A Landlord Require?
Landlords can't require more than two months rent as a security deposit. This limit is reduced to one month's rent if a tenant is 62 years of age or older.
Do Landlords Pay Tenants Interest On Security Deposits?
Yes. Landlords must pay tenants interest on security deposits of at least the average commercial banks savings deposit rate as annually determined and published by the Banking Commissioner. Interest must be paid annually on the anniversary date of a tenancy either directly to tenants or as a credit towards the next month's rent. See interest rate information.
What If A Tenant Is Late Paying Rent?
Tenants forfeit interest on their security deposits for any months when they are more than ten days late paying their rent. The only exception is when a tenant's rental agreement already contains a late charge for overdue rental payments.
TIP: Before moving, inspect your apartment
with the landlord and note its condition.
How Can Tenants Ensure Their Security Deposits Will Be Returned?
Tenants should carefully note the condition of their apartment when they first move in and confirm that condition in writing with their new landlord. When tenants decide to move, they should notify their landlord in writing of their plans to leave and must provide written notice of a forwarding address where the landlord may send their security deposit with interest. Since a tenant may need to show proof that the written notice was sent to their landlord, the tenant should send the notice by certified mail with a return receipt. All rental payments should be made on time and tenants should repair any damage they cause. Before moving out, if possible, tenants should inspect the apartment together with their landlord. Keys should be returned the day the tenancy ends.
If you wish to file a complaint with the Department of Banking you are required to send your forwarding address by certified mail with a return receipt.
When Do Landlords Have To Return Security Deposits?
Landlords must return security deposits with interest or give tenants written notice of damages being claimed within thirty days of when tenants move. The only exception is if a tenant fails to provide a written forwarding address: landlords then need not return security deposits or provide a notice of damages until fifteen days after receipt of a forwarding address in writing.
If a landlord does not return a security deposit with interest or provide a written notice of damages within these statutory time limits, the landlord may have to pay the tenant twice the amount of the security deposit. Tenants may pursue this remedy in court. For further information, see the section on options for resolving disputes.
A landlord's written notice of damages must itemize the nature and amount of tenant damages, including any unpaid rent or utility payments, and must be accompanied by the balance, if any, of the tenant's security deposit not being claimed for damages plus interest.
What Records Should Tenants Keep?
Tenants should save their lease or rental agreement, all rent checks or receipts and, after they move, a copy of the written notice of their new forwarding address which they have provided their landlord. These records should be kept until all accounts have been settled and the tenant's security deposit with interest has been returned.
Do Tenants Who Fail To Leave After Their Rental Periods End Have To Pay Additional Rent?
Tenants are expected to leave when their leases or rental periods end unless they have made other arrangements with their landlord. Normal rental periods start on the first day of a month and end on the last day of a month. If a lease ends on certain day, tenants must leave by that date. Tenants who do not leave before the next rental period starts with-out an agreement with their landlord may have to pay additional rent. If tenants don't pay additional rent owed, they may lose all or part of their security deposit.