Security Deposit Regulations in Pennsylvania
It is commonplace for property owners in the state of Pennsylvania to collect up to two months rent from residents in order to protect themselves from unpaid rents and damages to their property. For property owners renting out units for more than a year, only one month’s rent can be collected for the second year and all subsequent years. To learn more about security deposit regulations for rental properties in the state of Pennsylvania, continue reading below.
Security Deposits Regulations for Rental Properties in the State of Pennsylvania
Is there a limit on how much the property manager/owner can charge for an application fee? If so, what is that amount?
There is no limit on the application fee amount in the state of Pennsylvania. Application fees are non-refundable.
What is the security deposit amount the landlord can collect?
As property owner in Pennsylvania, you can request a security deposit of up to two month’s rent to protect your property in the event of damages or unpaid rent during the first year. For the second year and subsequent years, property owners can only collect one month’s rent. Property owners cannot increase the security deposit amount after five years of tenancy.
Can the property manager/owner collect a fee for pets?
Yes. Property owners in Pennsylvania may collect a pet deposit separate from the apartment security deposit. Service pets are an exemption, and disabled persons with service pets do not have to pay an additional security deposit. However, if a service dog causes damages, the resident is still liable for expenses incurred.
How does the security deposit need to be held?
Property owners operating in the state of Pennsylvania who collect a security deposit of more than $100 Can secure a bond from a surety authorized in the state of Pennsylvania, or deposit the security deposit in an escrow account. The escrow account can be interest bearing or non interest bearing, however it must be in a regulated financial institution.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident where the deposit is held?
Yes. If a property owner In the state of Pennsylvania chooses to place the collected security deposit in an escrow account, they must provide the resident with the name and address of the financial institution and the exact amount of the security deposit placed in the account.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident what the interest rate on the account is (if applicable)?
property owners operating in the state of Pennsylvania who collect the security deposit of more than $100, and place it in an interest-bearing escrow account, must pay the interest earned to the resident each year. Property owners may collect 1% of the interest as an administration fee.
What can the property manager/owner deduct from the security deposit?
Property owners operating in the state of Pennsylvania may keep a portion of security deposit to cover unpaid rent, damages that exceed normal wear and tear, or breach of the rental agreement as listed in the lease terms.
How long does the property manager/owner have to return the security deposit after the lease has ended?
In the state of Pennsylvania, the security deposit, or its remainder (after additional costs have been incurred, if applicable) must be returned to the renter within 30 days from the renter vacating the property or the last day of the lease agreement, whichever is earlier, alongside an itemized list of deductions, if applicable, in writing.
What penalties does the property manager/owner face if they do not return the security deposit on time?
if a property owner in the state of Pennsylvania does not return the security deposit, or its remainder, within the 30 days allotted forfeit their right to retain any portion of the security deposit. Additionally, the property owner may be fined double the security deposit amount. The vacating resident may they’ll sue the property owner in small claims court for up to $12,000.
What is the process for the property manager/owner to claim the security deposit funds?
Property owners in the state of Pennsylvania that want to retain the security deposit, or a portion of it, must provide an itemized list of deductions and provide the written list to the vacating resident within 30 days of vacating the property.
Is the resident allowed to apply their security deposit towards the last month’s rent?
Residents in the state of Pennsylvania may apply their security deposit towards their last month’s rent provided that both parties agree in writing in the rental agreement.
To summarize, legislation in the state of Pennsylvania regarding security deposit regulations for rental properties is relatively straightforward. Property owners also have clearly outlined regulations regarding how they must hold the security deposits, and when they must return it. Property owners should keep accurate records of damages incurred to their property and provide that information to the vacating residence in writing at the end of the lease termination, or upon vacating the property, whichever is earlier.
Disclaimer & Sources:
Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is for informational purposes and should not replace legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government to check for any changes or updates to the law.