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How Much Can Landlords Charge for Security Deposits?

The answer depends on the laws in your state—although one month’s rent is common.

It finally happened. You found a rental that you like (and a landlord who will let you live there). Now, it’s time to sign the lease—and immediately shell out hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for a security deposit. It’s a lot of money. You may be wondering if there are any rules about how much your landlord can require you to pay.

As with most rental law-related questions, the answer depends on where you live. A number of states cap how much landlords can ask you to put down for a security deposit. Often, it’s the equivalent of one month’s rent. But there are states, like New Jersey and California, that set the limit higher. There are also a lot of places—including Texas, Colorado, and Washington—with no legal limit at all.

Choose your state from the dropdown menu at the top of the page to find out whether security deposits are capped where you rent.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.