Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer
Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area
- Security Deposit
- A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or leaves owing rent, the landlord can use the security deposit to cover what the tenant owes. The laws of most states limit the size of a deposit, dictate its use, and set specific rules for when and how landlords must return the deposit.