Your New York landlord should return your security deposit to you quickly, and in some instances even with interest, if you’ve been a good renter. That holds truth even if you’re a student or an ex-pat with no U.S. credit. When it’s time to move on, become familiar with the procedure for collecting what you’re entitled to.
Finding an apartment, signing a lease, and notifying your existing landlord that you are moving. As well as paying the down payment, and hiring a mover are all requirements in any place. But there are additional obstacles unique to New York City.
It’s a lot of money to contribute all at once, to start with. The security deposit, first and last month’s rent, maybe broker fees, and moving expenses are all your responsibility. You most likely have an apartment that, for the same price, would be twice as big in a different major city. That’s even before you learn about the peculiarities of living there, like erratic heating or mouse issues. It seems sensible that when it comes time to vacate your current residence, you would want to ensure that your security deposit is returned in full.
Although there are many renters in the city, this does not necessarily translate to inexpensive rent. It’s difficult to keep up with the frequently changing rental laws in New York. Let alone hold your broker or landlord responsible for them.
How Are Security Deposits Different in New York?
When a lease is signed, a tenant also pays application fees, the first month’s rent, and a security deposit to the landlord or property management. In essence, the security deposit serves as insurance against damage and is kept on file for the life of the tenancy.
If the flat is left in excellent shape at the end of the lease, deposits are refundable. And renters can get their money back. A tenant’s security deposits must be returned by the landlord within 14 days after they’ve finished moving out and received their keys back. The security deposit, however, is used to pay for repairs that go above and beyond ordinary wear and tear if the property is harmed.
The deposit should also be kept in the bank to earn interest. Which is a little-known fact in the State of New York.
The amount of the deposit and the name and address of the bank where it is being maintained in an interest-bearing account must be disclosed to renters by their landlords. Landlords are also required to give tenants interest on the security deposit. If they rent apartments in non-regulated complexes with six or more units. The tenant can decide how they want to receive the remaining interest. Whether they want it deducted from their rent, paid at the end of each year, or paid at the end of the lease. A landlord may keep up to 1 percent of the interest accumulated for administrative charges.
What Is Allowed as a Security Deposit Deduction by a Landlord?
The landlord must give the tenant an itemized account explaining any deductions. From the deposit’s total amount if any money is taken out of it for any reason.
It is typical for a space to experience “normal wear and tears” when occupants are present. Paint that has faded, small wall scuffs, fading countertops, and slight carpet spotting are examples of this kind of wear. The deposit cannot be used as long as the tenant hasn’t caused any significant harm. This is why it is crucial to perform a “walk-through” and check the property for any defects before you sign a lease. Looking for even minor flaws.
Here are some guidelines for returning your security deposit for your existing residence:
1. Look For Damage in Your New Home
Make careful to stroll through and check the area after signing your new lease for any pre-existing damage. Paying particular attention to cabinet doors, drawers, and hidden locations. Check the AC, heating, and water. We advise you to take thorough pictures while noting any potential new problems. Share these images with your landlord along with the pertinent information. And ask them to make a note of them so it’s documented.
2. Examine the Current Damage to Your Property and Think About Potential Repairs
Before you depart, get a jump start on any potential damages that may have happened to your existing property. Walk through the property and look for any damage, both serious and little.
It might be less expensive for you to do any repairs before leaving the house. Such as touch-up paint and thorough carpet cleaning. It allows you to have some influence on the price and procedure that your landlord will arrange when you move out. Without having to worry about your finances.
Restore any alterations to their previous state by removing the light fixtures you placed and make sure to clean everything properly.
Hire Moving Experts
The last thing you want on moving day is for amateur movers to cause damage to your old and new properties. Professional movers are trained to treat your possessions with care. Avoid scratching the surfaces of your building’s common areas including corridors, elevators, and door frames.
If any damage does occur, a professional mover will give you a COI (Certificate of Insurance), which is required in New York City buildings, so they are covered to fix it at no cost to you. While trying to save a few bucks on moving day may seem enticing, keep in mind that the average COI is in the range of several million dollars. One error made by a shady operator could cause you a major headache.