Security Deposits

Our landlord has been commingling our Security Deposits for decades (he owns and or manages approximately 380 buildings). We have his "yes, I've commingled, so what?" on tape).

The New York General Obligations Law §7-103 provides that the security deposit held by the Landlord must be maintained in a segregated bank account and not co-mingled with the Landlord’s own money. The bank selected must have a place of business in the state. If the security amount is more than seven hundred and fifty dollars and is for a rental term of more than one hundred and twenty days, the segregated account must be an interest bearing account. The Landlord also has to notify the Tenant, in writing, of the name and address of the bank and the sum deposited.
If the landlord commingles a security deposit with personal funds, the commingling of the funds constitutes a conversion under the law, and the tenant is entitled to the immediate return of the commingled funds. Failure by the landlord to maintain the funds in a segregated account will preclude the Landlord from using the security deposit for unpaid rent or to repair any damages caused by the tenant to the premises.


The advice I give to my friends and to my AptStar clients is the time to take steps to ensure you get your security deposit back is when you are given the keys to your new apartment and before you actually move in.

For what to do: read here.