senate Bill S1276

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Requires return of a security deposit by a landlord within 30 days unless the landlord gives written notice of retention for legally authorized cause

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to judiciary
Jan 06, 2011 referred to judiciary

S1276 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
General Obligations Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง7-104, Gen Ob L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S1441A

S1276 - Bill Texts

view summary

Requires a landlord to return to a tenant the full security deposit within thirty days of the surrender of the premises by such tenant unless the landlord provides such tenant with a written statement listing the reasons for the retention of any portion of the deposit; sets forth particular situations for which the landlord may retain such security deposit; renders the landlord liable for treble damages for any violation.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1276

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the return of a
security deposit by a landlord

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill would add a new section 7-104 to the general obligations
law, that will require a landlord who withholds all or any part of a
tenant's security deposit, to notify the tenant by written statement
listing the reasons for retention within 30 days after the surrender
and acceptance of the premises. At that time, the landlord will be
required to deliver the statement giving the reasons for retention,
along with the difference if any, between the security deposit and
the amount retained. A landlord's retention of a security deposit in
violation of this section, will make the landlord liable for treble
the amount of the security deposit wrongfully withheld from the
tenant, together with reasonable attorney fees and court costs
incurred by the tenant.

JUSTIFICATION:

This bill would provide protection of tenants from possible misuse and
unjustified retention of their security deposits by dishonest and
negligent landlords. The bill in no way affects the legitimate
ability of a landlord to retain all or part of a security deposit for
nonpayment of rent or utility charges, abandonment of premises,
damages caused by the tenant to premises, and cleaning contracted by
the tenant. However, as it now stands, some landlords make deductions
from security deposits for repairs that are never made, or overcharge
a tenant for repairs made, or charge a tenant for damages that were
preexistent. Moreover, many landlords fail to return security
deposits within a reasonable period of time. This bill will act to
eliminate these situations by imposing the burden of proof upon the
landlord when all or part of a security deposit is retained, and by
sanctioning violations with a penalty of triple the amount of any
misapplied deductions on the part of the landlord.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2006: S.7070 (Duane), Died in Judiciary; A.9368 (Wright), Died in
Judiciary
2007: S.2311 (Duane), Died in Judiciary; A.662 (Wright), Died in
Judiciary
2008: S.2311 (Duane), Died in Judiciary; A.662 (Wright), Died in
Judiciary
2009: S.1441 (Duane), Died in Codes; A.1435 (Wright), Died in
Judiciary
2010: S.1441 (Duane), Died in Codes; A.1435 (Wright), Died in
Judiciary

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:


None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1276

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 6, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DUANE  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to  the  return
  of a security deposit by a landlord

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  The general obligations law is amended  by  adding  a  new
section 7-104 to read as follows:
  S  7-104.  MONEY DEPOSITED OR ADVANCED FOR USE OR RENTAL OF ANY DWELL-
ING; RETENTION.  1.  DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION:
  (A)  THE TERM "SECURITY DEPOSIT" SHALL MEAN ANY ADVANCE OR DEPOSIT  OF
MONEY  THAT IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7-103 OF THIS TITLE,
AND THE PRIMARY FUNCTION OF WHICH IS TO  SECURE  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF  A
RENTAL AGREEMENT FOR THE USE OR RENTAL OF ANY DWELLING OR ANY PART THER-
EOF.
  (B)    THE  TERM "LANDLORD" SHALL MEAN ANY PERSON WHO RECEIVES PAYMENT
FROM A TENANT FOR THE RENTAL OR USE OF ANY DWELLING OR ANY PORTION THER-
EOF AND HAS RECEIVED A SECURITY DEPOSIT IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH RENTAL.
  (C)  THE TERM "TENANT" SHALL MEAN ANY PERSON WHO OCCUPIES ANY DWELLING
OR ANY PORTION THEREOF FOR WHICH  HE  OR  SHE  PAYS  RENT  AND  WHO,  IN
CONNECTION WITH SUCH RENTAL, HAS FURNISHED A SECURITY DEPOSIT.
  2.   A LANDLORD SHALL, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE TENANT VACATES THE
DWELLING RETURN TO THE TENANT THE FULL SECURITY DEPOSIT AND ANY  ACCRUED
INTEREST TO WHICH THE TENANT IS ENTITLED.
  3.  A  LANDLORD  MAY  RETAIN  ALL  OR A PART OF A SECURITY DEPOSIT FOR
NONPAYMENT OF RENT, USE AND OCCUPANCY, UNJUSTIFIABLE ABANDONMENT OF  THE
PREMISES PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEASE TERM, NONPAYMENT OF UTILI-
TY  CHARGES, REPAIR WORK OR CLEANING CONTRACTED BY THE TENANT OR DAMAGES
CAUSED BY THE TENANT TO THE PREMISES. IN THE  EVENT  THAT  THE  LANDLORD
RETAINS ANY PORTION OF THE SECURITY DEPOSIT, HE OR SHE SHALL PROVIDE THE
TENANT WITH A WRITTEN STATEMENT LISTING THE REASONS FOR THE RETENTION OF

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00956-01-1

S. 1276                             2

SUCH PORTION OF THE SECURITY DEPOSIT. WHEN THE STATEMENT IS DELIVERED IT
SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED BY PAYMENT OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANY SUM DEPOS-
ITED  AND  THE  AMOUNT  RETAINED.  THE  LANDLORD SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE
COMPLIED  WITH  THIS  SECTION  BY  MAILING THE STATEMENT AND ANY PAYMENT
REQUIRED TO THE TENANT'S NEW ADDRESS, IF KNOWN BY THE  LANDLORD,  OR  TO
THE LAST KNOWN ADDRESS OF THE TENANT.
  4.  THE  WILLFUL  RETENTION OF A SECURITY DEPOSIT IN VIOLATION OF THIS
SECTION SHALL RENDER A LANDLORD LIABLE FOR TREBLE  THE  AMOUNT  OF  THAT
PORTION  OF  THE  SECURITY  DEPOSIT WRONGFULLY WITHHELD FROM THE TENANT,
TOGETHER WITH REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COURT COSTS. IN ANY  ACTION
BROUGHT  BY  A  TENANT  UNDER  THIS SECTION, THE LANDLORD SHALL BEAR THE
BURDEN OF PROVING THAT HIS OR HER WITHHOLDING OF THE SECURITY DEPOSIT OR
ANY PORTION THEREOF WAS NOT WILLFUL.
  5.  ANY PROVISION OF A CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT WHEREBY A PERSON  WHO  SO
DEPOSITS OR ADVANCES MONEY WAIVES ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION IS ABSO-
LUTELY VOID.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
have become a law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.