Landlords in Kansas can collect security deposits from their tenants, but they must follow certain basic rules to do so. The Kansas Landlord-Tenant Act is a document every landlord in the state should become familiar with because it spells out these rules and is the foundation of a lease agreement. For the original text of the law governing security deposits in the state of Kansas, please consult Kansas Statutes Annotated §§ 58-2548 and 58-2550.
Maximum Security Deposit
In the state of Kansas, there is a limit as to the maximum amount a landlord can charge a tenant as a security deposit. If the unit is unfurnished, a landlord can charge a maximum of one month’s rent as a security deposit. If the unit is furnished, a landlord can charge a maximum of one and a half month’s rent as a security deposit.
Kansas landlords are also allowed to charge an additional deposit for pets. This pet deposit cannot be more than one-half month’s rent. Landlords in Kansas do not have to provide their tenants with written notice after receiving a tenant’s security deposit.
Reasons Landlords Can Keep a Security Deposit
In the state of Kansas, landlords are allowed to keep all or a portion of a tenant’s security deposit to cover:
- Unpaid rent
- Damage in excess of normal wear and tear
- Other breaches to the lease agreement
Returning Security Deposits in Kansas
If a Kansas landlord plans on making any deductions from a tenant’s security deposit, they must provide the tenant with a written notice. This notice must include an itemized list which states what deductions have been taken and the amount of each deduction.
Kansas landlords have 30 days after a tenant moves out to return the portion of the tenant’s security deposit that is owed back to the tenant. If the tenant makes no claim on the deposit after 30 days, the landlord must mail the portion of the deposit owed to the tenant and the written notice to the tenant’s last known address.
If a landlord has determined that they will need to make deductions from a tenant’s security deposit, they have 14 days after this decision to return the portion of the deposit owed to the tenant. They must also send a written notice of what was deducted and why. The deposit must still be returned no later than 30 days after a tenant has moved out.
If a landlord wrongfully withholds all or a portion of a tenant’s security deposit, the tenant may be awarded the amount wrongfully withheld plus damages. This amount can be up to one and a half times the amount wrongfully withheld, plus reasonable court costs and attorney fees.
Maintain a Separate Account for Deposits
Landlords in Kansas should hold the tenants’ security deposits in a separate, named account in a banking or financial institution that is insured by the federal government. The security deposit should be in an account that is separate from the landlord’s funds. The holding account does not have to earn interest. However, if it does earn interest income, this interest is the property of the landlord.
Kansas Tenant Move-In Inspection
Kansas landlords are not required by law to perform a walk-through inspection before a tenant’s moves-out of a rental unit. However, Kansas landlords do have to conduct an inventory inspection of the unit with the tenant no later than five days after the tenant moves in.
- The inspection should document the condition of the rental unit, including any furniture and appliances.
- The inspection should be signed and dated by both the landlord and tenant.
- The tenant must be given a copy of this document.
Landlord Sell of Property
In the event that a landlord should sell an occupied rental property, the landlord has two options in how they handle the security deposit they hold for the tenant.
First, they can transfer the security deposit to the new owner of the property—minus any allowable deductions. They must notify the tenants of the name of the new owner and the address where their security deposit is being held. Alternatively, the landlord can return the security deposit to the tenant—minus any allowable deductions—and notify the new owner that the deposits have been returned to the tenants. It will then be up to the new owner to secure a security deposit for the tenant.