Among the other significant aspects of the Security Deposit Law are:
1. The statute applies to all residential rentals, except vacation and recreational tenancies of 100 days or less.
2. The amount that can be collected at the start of a tenancy cannot exceed the first month’s rent, the last month’s rent and a security deposit equal to the first month’s rent plus a charge for a new lock and key, including installation cost.
3. The person receiving the security deposit (or rent in advance) must give the tenant a signed receipt that identifies the date, description of the premises and landlord’s name.
4. Within 10 days after the tenancy begins or upon receipt of the security deposit (whichever is later), the person receiving the deposit must give the tenant a Statement Of Condition completed by the landlord, listing any existing damage and any sanitary or building code violations. The Statement must include specific statutory language in 12 point bold face type, notifying the tenant that the tenant has 15 days to identify other damage and to sign and return the Statement.
5. Past Statements of Condition must be available for inspection by tenants for two years after a prior tenant leaves. Failure to comply entitles the current tenant to return of the deposit.
6. The landlord or rental agent must give the tenant a receipt within 30 days of accepting the security deposit that identifies the name and location of the bank and account number. The deposit must be in a separate, interest bearing escrow account and not commingled with funds of the landlord or agent. An award of treble damages is mandated for failure to comply.
7. Where security deposits are held longer than 12 months, the tenant must be paid interest annually (at 5 percent or the actual amount earned, if less).
8. Within 30 days of the end of the tenancy, the security deposit must be returned with deductions only for: (a) unpaid rent; (b) unpaid real estate taxes under a valid escalation clause; and (c) reasonable amounts for damage caused by the tenant or by persons at the property with the tenant’s consent. If there are deductions a sworn statement, itemizing the damages must be given within 30 days, together with documentation of the actual or estimated repair cost.
9. If ownership of the property is transferred, the former owner must transfer the security deposit interest to the new owner. The new owner has 45 days to provide tenants his name and address and to confirm receipt of their deposit. Even if the deposit was not transferred, the successor will be liable for it, but may satisfy that obligation by allowing the tenant to live rent-free for the appropriate period.