Landlord / Tenant disputes are very common. Small claims courts see a flurry of security deposit disputes every year. Therefore, it's important to have that conversation managed in a sensible way. An itemized statement specifying any and all deductions is really useful for understanding what happened to a security deposit.
The laws around security deposits vary by state, county, and city:
- Time it takes for the landlord to process.
- How it can be collected.
- Where it can be stored
- How interest should be shared (if at all).
- If a move-in inspection is required.
- If a move-out inspection is required.
- Whether an itemized list of damages is required
- Whether itemization requires associated costs
I've found it helpful to get an itemized list of damages, rent owed, cleaning fees, and unpaid utilities with their associated costs. This makes it easy to dispute any cost based on the price tag or merits.
Here, we'll list states that have laws requiring landlords to provide an itemized deduction statement where each item has a cost when returning a security deposit.
|Alabama||Yes||Upon termination of the tenancy, money held by the landlord as security may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with Section 35-9A11 301 all as itemized by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant together with the amount due 35 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession.||Alabama Laws|
|Alaska||Yes||Upon termination of the tenancy, property or money held by the landlord as prepaid rent or as a security deposit may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with AS 34.03.120. The accrued rent and damages must be itemized by the landlord in a written notice mailed to the tenant's last known address within the time limit prescribed by (g) of this section, together with the amount due the tenant. In this subsection, "damages"||Alaska Laws|
|Arizona||Yes||Within fourteen days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays or other legal holidays, after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession and demand by the tenant the landlord shall provide the tenant an itemized list of all deductions together with the amount due and payable to the tenant, if any. Unless other arrangements are made in writing by the tenant, the landlord shall mail the itemized list and any amount due, by first class mail, to the tenant's last known place of residence. If the tenant does not dispute the deductions or the amount due and payable to the tenant within sixty days after the itemized list and amount due are mailed as prescribed by this subsection, the amount due to the tenant as set forth in the itemized list with any amount due is deemed valid and final and any further claims of the tenant are waived.||Arizona Laws|
|Arkansas||Yes||If the landlord deducts from your security deposit, the landlord must give you a written, itemized list of the charges withheld within 60 days of the time you vacate.||Arkansas Laws|
|California||Yes||After a tenant moves out, a landlord has 21 days to: Mail or personally give to the tenant: An itemized list of each of the deductions; Copies of receipts for the charges/deductions, unless repairs cost less than $126 or the tenant waived (gave up) his or her right to get the receipts. If the repairs cannot be finished within the 21-day period, the landlord can send the tenant a good faith estimate of the cost of repairs. Then within 14 days of the repairs being done, the landlord must send the tenant the receipts.||California Laws|
|Colorado||Yes||If the landlord does not either return the entire security deposit or send an itemized list of deductions, along with any remaining portion of the security deposit.||Colorado Laws|
|Connecticut||Yes||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.||Connecticut Laws|
|Delaware||Yes||Within 20 days after the termination or expiration of any rental agreement, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized list of damages to the premises and the estimated costs of repair for each and shall tender payment for the difference between the security deposit and such costs of repair of damage to the premises.||Delaware Laws|
|Florida||No||Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or the landlord shall have 30 days to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant’s last known mailing address of his or her intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim.||Florida Laws|
|Georgia||No||All landlords, regardless of the number of units owned, must return the security deposit within one month after termination of the lease or the surrender and acceptance of the premises, whichever occurs last. If the security deposit is held because of damage to the unit, the landlord must send the tenant notice within one month identifying the damage, the estimated dollar amount of the damage, and a refund, if any, of the difference between the security deposit and the amount withheld for damages.||Georgia Laws|
|Hawaii||Yes||If the landlord retains any amounts from the security deposits, the landlord must provide a written accounting with copies of invoices or receipts.||Hawaii Laws|
|Idaho||Yes||Any refunds in an amount less than the full amount deposited by the tenant shall be accompanied by a signed statement itemizing the amounts lawfully retained by the landlord, the purpose for the amounts retained, and a detailed list of expenditures made from the deposit.||Idaho Laws|
|Illinois||Yes||...an itemized statement of the damage allegedly caused to the leased premises and the estimated or actual cost for repairing or replacing each item on that statement, attaching the paid receipts, or copies thereof, for the repair or replacemen||Illinois Laws|
|Iowa||No||If the landlord fails to return the security deposit or submit a statement to the tenant within the 30 days, the landlord forfeits all rights to the deposit. If the tenant does not give the landlord a forwarding address within one year of the termination of tenancy, then the tenant forfeits all rights to the deposit.||Iowa Laws|
|Kansas||No?||Upon termination of the tenancy, any security deposit held by the landlord may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with K.S.A. 58-25,113 and the rental agreement, all as itemized by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant.||Kansas Laws|
|Kentucky||No?||Prior to tendering any consideration deemed to be a security deposit, the prospective tenant shall be presented with a comprehensive listing of any then-existing damage to the unit which would be the basis for a charge against the security deposit and the estimated dollar cost of repairing such damage. The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises to ascertain the accuracy of such listing prior to taking occupancy. The landlord and the tenant shall sign the listing, which signatures shall be conclusive evidence of the accuracy of such listing, but shall not be construed to be conclusive to latent defects. If the tenant shall refuse to sign such listing, he shall state specifically in writing the items on the list to which he dissents, and shall sign such statement of dissent.||Kentucky Laws|
|Louisiana||Yes||If any portion of an advance or deposit is retained by a landlord or lessor, he shall forward to the tenant or lessee, within one month after the date the tenancy terminates, an itemized statement accounting for the proceeds which are retained and giving the reasons therefor. The tenant shall furnish the lessor a forwarding address at the termination of the lease, to which such statements may be sent.||Louisiana Laws|
|Maine||No||The written statement itemizing the reasons for the retention of any portion of the security deposit must be accompanied by a full payment of the difference between the security deposit and the amount retained.||Maine Laws|
|Maryland||No||If the landlord withholds any part of your security deposit, they must send you a written list of damages, with a statement of what it cost to repair the damages, by first-class mail to your last known address within 45 days after you move out. If the landlord fails to do this, they lose the right to withhold any part of the security deposit.||Maryland Laws|
|Massachusetts||Yes||a reasonable amount necessary to repair any damage caused to the dwelling unit by the tenant or any person under the tenant's control or on the premises with the tenant's consent, reasonable wear and tear excluded. In the case of such damage, the lessor shall provide to the tenant within such thirty days an itemized list of damages, sworn to by the lessor or his agent under pains and penalties of perjury, itemizing in precise detail the nature of the damage and of the repairs necessary to correct such damage, and written evidence, such as estimates, bills, invoices or receipts, indicating the actual or estimated cost thereof||Massachusetts Laws|
|Michigan||Yes||In case of damage to the rental unit or other obligation against the security deposit, the landlord shall mail to the tenant, within 30 days after the termination of occupancy, an itemized list of damages claimed for which the security deposit may be used as provided in section 7, including the estimated cost of repair of each property damaged item and the amounts and bases on which he intends to assess the tenant||Michigan Laws|
|Mississippi||Yes||The written notice by which the landlord claims all or any portion of such payment or deposit shall itemize the amounts claimed by such landlord.||Mississippi Laws|
|Missouri||Yes||At the end of the lease, the landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit with an itemized list of damages for which any portion of the deposit is kept.||Missouri Laws|
|Montana||Yes||The landlord must send the tenant a written list of any deductions from the security deposit within 30 days. Any landlord who fails to provide the departing tenant with such a list may not withhold any portion of the security deposit for the damages or cleaning charges.||Montana Laws|
|Nebraska||Yes||The balance, if any, and a written itemization shall be delivered or mailed to the tenant within fourteen days after the date of termination of the tenancy.||Nebraska Laws|
|Nevada||Yes||The landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized written accounting of the disposition of the security or surety bond, or a combination thereof, and return any remaining portion of the security to the tenant no later than 30 days after the termination of the tenancy by handing it to the tenant personally at the place where the rent is paid, or by mailing it to the tenant at the tenant’s present address or, if that address is unknown, at the tenant’s last known address.||Nevada Laws|
|New Hampshire||Yes||An itemized list of damages deducted from your deposit must state the exact repairs necessary to correct any damage. The landlord is further required to provide evidence or proof that the repairs have been or will be completed.||New Hampshire Laws|
|New Jersey||Yes||The interest or earnings and any such deductions shall be itemized and the tenant, licensee, executor, administrator or surviving spouse notified thereof by personal delivery, registered or certified mail||New Jersey Laws|
|New Mexico||Yes||In the event actual cause exists for retaining any portion of the deposit, the owner shall provide the resident with an itemized written list of the deductions from the deposit and the balance of the deposit, if any, within thirty days of the date of termination of the rental agreement or resident departure, whichever is later.||New Mexico Laws|
|New York||Yes||If the landlord takes any money out of the security deposit for damages, they must provide an itemized “receipt” describing the damage and its cost. If the landlord does not provide this receipt within 14 days of the tenant moving out, they must return the entire security deposit, whether there is damage or not||New York Laws|
|North Carolina||Yes||Within 30 days after the termination of your tenancy, the landlord or agent must send you either a full refund of your deposit or a written itemized accounting of any deductions along with any remaining refund amount||North Carolina Laws|
|North Dakota||Yes||Application of any portion of a security deposit not paid to the lessee upon termination of the lease must be itemized by the lessor. Such itemization together with the amount due must be delivered or mailed to the lessee at the last address furnished lessor, along with a written notice within thirty days after termination of the lease and delivery of possession by the lessee.||North Dakota Laws|
|Ohio||Yes||Any deduction from the security deposit shall be itemized and identified by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant together with the amount due, within thirty days after termination of the rental agreement and delivery of possession.||Ohio Laws|
|Oklahoma||No||Within 45 days after you move and give notice, the landlord either must return your entire deposit, or send you a list of the reasons for keeping all or part of your money.||Oklahoma Laws|
|Oregon||Yes||In order to claim all or part of any prepaid rent or security deposit, within 31 days after the tenancy terminates and the tenant delivers possession the landlord shall give to the tenant a written accounting that states specifically the basis or bases of the claim. The landlord shall give a separate accounting for security deposits and for prepaid rent.||Oregon Laws|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||give the tenant an itemized list of damages and return whatever security deposit is left after damages.||Pennsylvania Laws|
|Rhode Island||Yes||If the landlord thinks you caused any damage to the apartment or if you owe back rent, the landlord can withhold money from the deposit. However, she or he must give you a written itemized list of the damages and/or rent owed and must give you the difference between these costs and the security deposit you paid. The landlord must send this list within 20 days of getting your new address.||Rhode Island Laws|
|South Carolina||Yes||Any deduction from the security/rental deposit must be itemized by the landlord in a written notice to the tenant together with the amount due, if any, within thirty days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession and demand by the tenant, whichever is later.||South Carolina Laws|
|South Dakota||Yes||If the landlord withholds the deposit, the tenant may also demand an itemized account of the deposit withheld.||South Dakota Laws|
|Tennessee||No||If a tenant requests a mutual inspection as provided in subdivision (b)(1)(A), the landlord and tenant shall then inspect the premises and compile a comprehensive listing of any presently ascertainable damage to the unit that is the basis for any charge against the security deposit and the estimated dollar cost of repairing the damage.||Tennessee Laws|
|Texas||Yes, with exceptions||If the landlord retains all or part of a security deposit under this section, the landlord shall give to the tenant the balance of the security deposit, if any, together with a written description and itemized list of all deductions. The landlord is not required to give the tenant a description and itemized list of deductions if: there is no controversy concerning the amount of rent owed.||Texas Laws|
|Utah||Yes||If the landlord deducts any amount from the deposit, they must provide the tenant with a written, itemized list of those deductions.||Utah Laws|
|Vermont||Yes||A landlord shall return the security deposit along with a written statement itemizing any deductions to a tenant within 14 days from the date on which the landlord discovers that the tenant vacated or abandoned the dwelling unit or the date the tenant vacated the dwelling unit, provided the landlord received notice from the tenant of that date.||Vermont Laws|
|Virginia||Yes||The landlord shall notify the tenant in writing of any deductions provided by this section to be made from the tenant's security deposit during the course of the tenancy.||Virginia Laws|
|Washington||Yes||Within twenty-one days after the termination of the rental agreement and vacation of the premises or, if the tenant abandons the premises as defined in RCW 59.18.310, within twenty-one days after the landlord learns of the abandonment, the landlord shall give a full and specific statement of the basis for retaining any of the deposit together with the payment of any refund due the tenant under the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.||Washington Laws|
|Washington D.C.||No||Washington D.C. Laws|
|West Virginia||Yes||Upon termination of the tenancy and within the applicable notice period, any security deposit held by the landlord, minus any deductions for damages or other charges, shall be delivered to the tenant, together with a written itemization of any such damages or other charges as provided in subsection (c).||West Virginia Laws|