How are Security Deposits treated in PA ?

Real Estate Agent with KW Elite

Most tenants are required to provide a Security Deposit.

The Security Deposit (SD) is used to protect the Landlord’s 

interest if the tenants damage the unit or defaults on 

rental payments. 


In PA , the “Landlord Tenant Act” governs all residential SD’s.

Here are a few of its provisions:


1. Maximum Amount of SD allowed - 2 Months 

2.At the beginning of second year 1 month must be returned 

3. From years 2-5   the SD can be increased to match the moly. Rent

4. The SD is not to be used as the last month’s rent 

5.After tenants vacate and have left a forwarding address the Property    

    Manager must do one of the following three :

     1. Refund the entire SD 

     2. Partial Refund and send itemized list showing subtractions 

     3. No Refund , itemized list as why , and submit bill for add’l damages


The LTA requires all of this to be done in 30 days . If the Property Mngr. fails

to communicate with the tenants by that 30 day period , the tenant can sue for

the return of their SD ( at the District Magistrate ) . If proven the the Property

Manager has not correctly communicated , the tenant is usually awarded DOUBLE

the amount of their Security Deposit !  

Posted by


Michael J. Perry



1280 Plaza Blvd. , Lancaster, PA 17601

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Comments (4)

Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Sounds like they treat Security Deposits seriously in PA Michael J. Perry. In Massachusetts, each security deposit, first and last month, must be kept in an escrow account and not commingled with the Lessor's funds.  The tenant must also receive a statement of condition. That and a whole pile of other regulations

Jan 28, 2023 11:17 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

This is why we don't have rental property anymore.  Two months rent as security generally won't compensate for the repairs needed.

Jan 28, 2023 11:20 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Michael, here in LA if you deal with a Realtor not the Management Co's, First, Last & Security is collected upfront and sometimes another month for pet security. The reason this came about was too many tenants tried not paying last month and said that what are the landlords going to do?>>>>> problem solved, Endre

Jan 28, 2023 10:17 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Michael, it is interesting hearing from agents how things are done in each state.

Jan 30, 2023 11:56 AM