The Real Deal New York

Stringer wants one-month cap on renters’ security deposits

Comptroller says landlords collect too much money with little benefit for renters
July 16, 2018 10:00AM

Scott Stringer and a security deposit (Credit: iStock)

City Comptroller Scott Stringer wants new restrictions on renters’ security deposits.

A new report by the comptroller’s office found that New Yorkers spent approximately $507 million on security deposits in 2016, Pix 11 reported.

“Right now, the landlords are collecting all this money and it’s doing nothing for the tenants,” Stringer said.

Stringer has proposed that the state introduce legislation that would put a one-month cap on the deposits landlords can require of tenants, similar to the limitations for rent-regulated apartments.

Jeremiah Schlotman, chair of the Housing Committee for East Harlem’s Community Board 11, said the thorniest part of security-deposit reform is getting the deposit back. He said tenants often have to sue their landlords to get their money back.

“Right now, the onus is on the tenant to sue his landlord to get the security deposit back,” Schlotman said. “These proposals would make the playing field less unlevel.”

A small handful of startups are looking to create alternatives to the traditional security deposit model. Two New York-based startups, Jetty and Rhino, charge renters a fee, and then agree to reimburse the landlord for any damages to the property. [Pix 11]Rich Bockmann