Most residential leases and rental agreements in Connecticut require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here’s a summary of Connecticut landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.
Does Connecticut law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?
Yes. Under Connecticut landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of two months' rent for the security deposit if the tenant is under 62 years of age and one month's rent if the tenant is 62 or older.
To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.
What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Connecticut for returning a security deposit?
Under Connecticut law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has surrendered the rental property to the landlord (that is, returned the keys and vacated the property) or within 15 days of receiving the tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later.
Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.
Is there additional information that Connecticut landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Connecticut?
Yes. Landlords in Connecticut must add interest payments to the security deposit annually (or credited towards rent, at the landlord's option) and no later than 30 days after termination of the tenancy. The interest rate must be equal to the average rate paid on savings deposits by insured commercial banks, as published by the Federal Reserve Board Bulletin, rounded to the nearest 0.1%.
Where can I look up Connecticut law on security deposits?
If you want to go right to the source and look up Connecticut law on security deposits -- or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law -- the relevant statute(s) can be found at Connecticut General Statutes Annotated § 47a-21. Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in Connecticut. For tips on looking up Connecticut state and local laws, check out Nolo's State Laws & Legal Research section.
For other information on security deposits in Connecticut, see the state's tenant guide at http://www.jud.state.ct.us/Publications/hm031.pdf.