Can a landlord makea tenantpay another deposit on housethat theyhave been renting over a year?

Stove in house caused fire damage; landlord wants us to pay another deposit because of the damage.

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If a tenant causes damage to a home and does not repair/replace/pay for the damage out of his or her own pocket, but instead relies on the security deposit  to cover the damage, then the landlord may require a new deposit. In this scenario, the original deposit was drawn down, reduced, or used to pay for the damage, leaving either no or not enough of a security deposit against future damage or nonpayment of rent; the landlord can then require the tenant to replenish the deposit.

If the tenant did pay for the damage out of pocket, then--

* if the lease is being renewed (or if its a month to month, on a month's notice)

* and the landlord is not already charging the maximum deposit allowed by law

--then the landlord can increase the deposit, up to the legal maximum, the same way a landlord can increase rent on lease renewal.


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