DHCR FACT SHEET #9
Division of Housing and Community Renewal

SECURITY DEPOSIT

A security deposit is money that a tenant deposits with the owner
of the apartment for the repair of any damages to the apartment
that the tenant is responsible for.

The amount of a security deposit is usually equal to one month's
rent. However, if two months' security deposit was collected from
a tenant by the owner when the apartment was first under rent
stabilization, and the same tenant is still occupying the
apartment, that tenant remains bound by the two months'
requirement. The next tenant cannot be required to deposit more
than one month's rent as security.

When a lease is renewed at a higher rental amount, or the rent is
increased during the term of the lease, the owner can collect
additional money from tenant to bring the security deposit up to
the new monthly rent. Even though tenants may be exempt from
paying a lease increase because of their Senior Citizen Rent
Increase Exemption (SCRIE) [SEE FACT SHEET ON SPECIAL RIGHTS OF
SENIOR CITIZENS], they must still pay the increased security.

The security deposit must be kept by the owner in an interest
bearing account in a New York State bank. The owner must notify
the tenant of the name and address of the bank and credit the
tenant the full annual interest, less 1% of the security deposit
per year for the owner's administrative costs. The tenant can
choose whether the interest is to be subtracted from the rent,
held in trust until the end of the tenancy, or paid in a lump sum
at the end of each year.

A security deposit should not be used as a final month's rent. At
the end of the lease, if the tenant honored the terms and
conditions of the lease and left the apartment in the same
condition as it was when rented, except for normal wear, the
owner must return the full security deposit. If damage was done,
the owner may apply part or all of the security deposit to the
cost of repair

If the tenant disagrees with the owner over the security deposit
or interest, the tenant should contact the Consumer Protection
Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office if the
problem is building-wide, or for individual tenants, begin a
proceeding in small claims court. The tenant can file a TENANT'S
COMPLAINT OF RENT OVERCHARGES AND/OR EXCESS SECURITY DEPOSIT
[DHCR Form RA-89] if the owner demands and the tenant pays more
than one month's security.

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DHCR Fact Sheets (series of thirty) are issued by the New York
State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) as plain-
english informational publications.  For official agency
policies, see DHCR Policy Statements, Advisory Opinions and
Operational Bulletins. Also refer to the Rent Stabilization Code,
the Rent Stabilization Law and various Rent Control Statutes.

Electronic versions of these documents on TenantNet are for
informational purposes only and there is no guarantee they will
be accepted by any court (or even DHCR) as true copies of DHCR
policy. The reader may obtain true copies of these documents from
DHCR.

Every attempt has been made to conform to the original Fact
Sheets as issued by DHCR; TenantNet makes no
representation the enclosed material is current or will be
applied as written.  The reader is advised that DHCR often fails
to properly apply, interpret or enforce housing laws.  Since
housing laws are complex and often contradictory, it is
recommended the reader obtain competent legal advice from a
tenant attorney or counseling from a tenant association or
community group. (rev. 3/13/96) DHCR documents
are public documents; the electronic version of such documents
have been developed by TenantNet and any added value, enhancements
and/or proprietary features are copyright 1994, 1995 and 1996 by
TenantNet. These documents may be freely distributed provided they
remain intact as herein presented, including this and the top
informational banner referencing TenantNet as the original provider.
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For more information or assistance, call the DHCR Rent Infoline
at (718) 739-6400, or visit your Borough Rent Office.

Queens Central Office
92-31 Union Hall St. 4th Fl.
Jamaica, NY 11433
(718) 739-6400

Bronx
One Fordham Plaza
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 563-5678

Brooklyn
250 Schermerhorn St.
3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-9246

Lower Manhattan
156 William Street
9th Floor
NY, NY 10038
(212) 240-6011, 6012
South side of 110th St. and below

Upper Manhattan
163 W. 125th St.
5th Floor
NY, NY 10027
(212) 961-8930
North side of 110th St. and above

Staten Island
350 St. Mark's Place
Room 105
Staten island, NY 10301
(718) 816-0277

Nassau County District Rent Office
50 Clinton Street, 6th Floor
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 481-9494

Westchester County District Rent Office
55 Church Street, 3rd Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 948-4434

Rockland County District Rent Office
94-96 North Main St.
Spring Valley, NY 10977
(914) 425-6575

Albany Regional Office
119 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 432-0596

Buffalo Regional Office
Ellicot Square Building
295 Main St., Room 438
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 856-1382

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