When you move into a rental property, the landlord will most likely ask for a security deposit, which protects the landlord while you live at his property. When you decide to renew your lease, the landlord may ask you for an additional security deposit, but he must follow certain laws when doing so.
A lease renewal is similar to the signing of your original lease. When you decide to stay in your rental, you must notify the landlord in writing. He will draft a new lease showing the length of renewal, such as for one year. Depending on the laws in your state, the landlord can change the terms of your original lease; for example, he can increase your monthly rent. He must list any changes in the new lease and discuss them with you.
Security Deposit Increases
The landlord can ask for an additional security deposit to renew your lease, especially if he plans to raise the rent or if you have a special condition. For example, if he raises the rent by $50 a month, he may charge a $50 security deposit -- equal to one month’s rent. If you have obtained a pet since you signed the first lease, the landlord may charge you a deposit for the pet. However, many state laws place a limit on the amount that a landlord can charge for a security deposit. Neither deposit can exceed the total allowed in your state.
If your landlord decides to increase your security deposit, he must list the amount in the new lease agreement. He should notify you of this change in person or in writing. If you do not agree with the increased amount, you can try to negotiate a reduced amount or simply not sign the lease. However, without a new lease agreement in place, you may have to vacate the rental property.
Landlord and tenant laws vary by state. Some states place a limit on how much the landlord can charge for a second security deposit or forbid all security-deposit increases. Read through your state laws carefully before signing a second lease. If the lease is illegal under the landlord and tenant laws, notify your landlord in writing and request a change before you will sign it.
- Pennsylvania Attorney General; Renting a Home or Apartment: Leases and Security Deposits
- The Landlord Protection Agency: Lease Renewal Option and Expiration Notice
- Georgia Consumer Protection Division. "If I Terminate My Lease Early, Can My Landlord Keep My Security Deposit and Charge Me a Fee?" Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Oregon State Bar. "Fees and Deposits." Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Wisconsin State Legislature. "704.29 Recovery of Rent and Damages by Landlord; Mitigation." Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Realtor.com®. "Beyond the Security Deposit: When Can Your Landlord Sue You for Property Damage?" Accessed April 6, 2020.
- The Judicial Branch of California. "Security Deposits." Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Updater. "Breaking a Lease: Everything to Know." Accessed April 6, 2020.
- New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. "Lease Information Bulletin," Page 3. Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Could Late Rent Payments or Problems With a Landlord Be in My Credit Report?" Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Experian. "Does Breaking a Lease Affect Your Credit?" Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Experian. "How Long Does It Take for Information to Come Off Your Credit Reports?" Accessed April 6, 2020.
- New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. "Lease Information Bulletin," Page 2. Accessed April 6, 2020.
- Michigan Department of Attorney General. "Other Legal Protections and Rights Provided By State And Federal Law." Accessed Apr. 23, 2020.
Amelia Jenkins has more than eight years of professional writing experience, covering financial, environmental and travel topics. Her work has appeared on MSN and various other websites and her articles have topped the best-of list for sites like Bankrate and Kipplinger. Jenkins studied English at Tarrant County College.