Most residential leases and rental agreements in Kentucky 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 Kentucky landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.
Does Kentucky law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?
No. In Kentucky, there's no statutory limit on security deposits at the state level, but check your city and county laws to see if your municipality has set a cap on security deposits for residential rentals.
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 Kentucky for returning a security deposit?
Under Kentucky law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 to 60 days after the tenant has moved out, depending on whether the tenant disputes deductions taken out of the security deposit.
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 Kentucky landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Kentucky?
Yes. Landlords in Kentucky must disclose, orally or in writing, where the security deposit is being held (for example, what bank) and the account number. Landlords in Kentucky must also provide tenants with advance notice before taking any deductions out of the security deposit, such as for the cost of repairing damage to the property caused by the tenant.
Where can I look up Kentucky law on security deposits?
If you want to go right to the source and look up Kentucky 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 Kentucky Revised Statutes Annotated § 383.580. Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in Kentucky. For tips on looking up Kentucky state and local laws, check out Nolo's State Laws & Legal Research section.
You may also find useful information in the state tenant guide, available at http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/home/Pages/rental.aspx.