Most residential leases and rental agreements in Kansas 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 Kansas landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.
Does Kansas law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?
Yes. In Kansas, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of one month's rent for the security deposit if the residence is unfurnished and one and one-half months' rent for a furnished residence. Also, Kansas landlords can demand an additional deposit of up to one-half month's rent for pets. The law does not apply to employees of the landlord, such as a manager, whose right to occupancy is conditioned upon employment in and about the premises.
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 Kansas for returning a security deposit?
Under Kansas law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has moved out.
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 Kansas landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Kansas?
Not at the state level in Kansas. But be sure to check your local (county, city, or town) laws to see if your municipality requires landlords to take additional steps when it comes to tenants' security deposits.
Where can I look up Kansas law on security deposits?
If you want to go right to the source and look up Kansas 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 Kansas Statutes Annotated §§ 58-2550 and 58-2548. Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in Kansas. For tips on looking up Kansas state and local laws, check out Nolo's State Laws & Legal Research section.
You might also find useful information in the tenant guide available at http://www.hcci-ks.org/images/Kansastenantshandbook2007.pdf.