Security Deposits and Renters Rights in Lackawanna New York

As a resident of Lackawanna, New York, or someone considering renting a property in this picturesque city, understanding the regulations surrounding security deposits and renters’ rights is crucial. The state of New York has robust laws in place to protect both landlords and tenants and being informed about your rights and responsibilities is key to a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship. In this article, we will explore the essential aspects of security deposits and renters’ rights in Lackawanna, New York, and what you need to know to ensure a smooth rental experience.Security Deposits and Renters Rights in Lackawanna New York

Security Deposits: What Are They and How Do They Work?

A security deposit is a sum of money paid by the tenant to the landlord at the beginning of the lease term. It serves as financial security for the landlord in case of damage to the rental property or unpaid rent. In Lackawanna, New York, the security deposit is typically equal to one month’s rent. However, it’s essential to note that security deposit regulations can vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to be aware of the specific laws in your area.

Landlord’s Responsibilities Regarding Security Deposits

Lackawanna, New York, has stringent regulations in place to protect tenants’ security deposit rights. Landlords are required to:

  • Provide a Receipt: Upon receiving the security deposit, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written receipt that includes the amount of the deposit, the date it was received, and the name and address of the financial institution where the deposit is held.
  • Deposit in an Escrow Account: Landlords must place the security deposit in an interest-bearing escrow account within five days of receiving it. The interest accrued on this deposit must be paid to the tenant annually or credited toward rent.
  • Notify Tenant of Account Details: Within 20 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing of the bank’s name and address where the deposit is held, the amount of the deposit, and the account number.
  • Perform a Move-In Inspection: A move-in inspection must be conducted by the landlord and tenant jointly at the beginning of the lease term. Both parties should document the condition of the property and note any pre-existing damages. This inspection report can help avoid disputes when it’s time to return the deposit.

Returning the Security Deposit

When the lease term ends, landlords must return the security deposit to the tenant within 14 days. However, they are allowed to make deductions for:

  • Unpaid rent.
  • Repairs for damages beyond normal wear and tear.
  • Cleaning costs if the property is not left in the same condition as when the tenant moved in.
  • Any other valid expenses as per the lease agreement.

Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities

Tenants also have responsibilities regarding security deposits. They must:

  • Pay rent on time.
  • Maintain the property in a reasonable condition.
  • Notify the landlord of any needed repairs promptly.
  • Abide by the lease terms and conditions.

Tenants should keep copies of all communication with their landlords, such as repair requests, to provide evidence in case of disputes over the security deposit.

Renters’ Rights in Lackawanna, New York

In addition to security deposit regulations, Lackawanna, New York, has laws that protect renters’ rights in various aspects of the rental process.

Lease Agreements

  • Lease Duration: In New York, a lease can be for any duration, but if it is for a term of more than one year, it must be in writing. For leases with a term of one year or less, written or oral agreements are acceptable.
  • Rent Increases: Landlords in Lackawanna, New York, must provide 30 days’ written notice for rent increases of more than 5% or termination of a month-to-month lease.
  • Landlord Access: Landlords are required to provide 24 hours’ notice before entering a rental unit unless it’s an emergency or both parties agree otherwise.

Repairs and Maintenance

  • Warranty of Habitability: Landlords must maintain rental units in a habitable condition, which includes providing essential services such as heat, hot water, and sanitary facilities.
  • Repairs: If the landlord fails to make necessary repairs after receiving written notice from the tenant, the tenant may take legal action, including withholding rent or making the repairs themselves and deducting the cost from the rent.


  • Eviction Process: Landlords in Lackawanna, New York, must follow the proper legal process for eviction. This process typically includes serving the tenant with a written notice, followed by a court hearing if the tenant does not comply.
  • Retaliation: Landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants in retaliation for exercising their legal rights, such as reporting code violations or organizing a tenant’s association.


Landlords in Lackawanna, New York, are not allowed to discriminate against tenants based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, or source of income. These anti-discrimination laws apply throughout the rental process, from advertising vacancies to making rental decisions.

Making the Most of Your Rental Experience

Now that you’re well-versed in the legal aspects of security deposits and renters’ rights in Lackawanna, New York, let’s delve into some practical tips to make your rental experience smooth and enjoyable.

Open Communication Is Key

Effective communication is the foundation of a successful landlord-tenant relationship. Both parties should maintain open and transparent lines of communication from the beginning to the end of the lease term. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Report Maintenance Issues Promptly: If you notice any issues with the property, such as a leaky faucet or a faulty electrical outlet, report them to your landlord immediately. Timely reporting can prevent small problems from turning into major repairs.
  • Keep Records: Document all communication with your landlord, including repair requests and responses, rent payments, and lease agreements. Having a record can be invaluable if disputes arise.
  • Respect Privacy: While you have the right to privacy in your rented home, it’s also important to respect your landlord’s need for access to maintain the property. Ensure that your landlord receives proper notice and that access is granted for necessary inspections and repairs.

Understanding security deposit regulations and renters’ rights is crucial for both tenants and landlords in Lackawanna, New York. By being aware of these laws, you can ensure a transparent and fair rental experience. Whether you’re a tenant seeking to protect your security deposit or a landlord looking to comply with the law, knowing your rights and responsibilities is the first step towards a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

If you have any legal questions or need assistance with a landlord-tenant issue in Lackawanna, New York, Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C. is here to help. Our experienced attorneys specialize in real estate law and can provide expert guidance and representation to protect your interests. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation to ensure your rights are upheld and your legal needs are met.

Your peace of mind matters. Contact Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C. now to discuss your security deposit, renters’ rights, or any other legal concerns related to your rental property in Lackawanna, New York. Our team of dedicated attorneys is here to assist you every step of the way.

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