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

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2010

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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