Kansas Security Deposit Laws

In Kansas, security deposits can total one month’s rent for an unfurnished apartment and one and a half months’ rent for a furnished property.
Written by Melissa Harvey
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Civil Code permits landlords to charge a refundable security deposit of at most one and a half months’ rent for a fully-furnished apartment and up to one month’s rent for unfurnished property. The landlord has 30 days to return the money after you leave. 
Security deposits can be one of the biggest hassles in renting—not only do you have to pay a considerable fee upfront, but getting it back can also be a hassle. The laws surrounding security deposits vary from state to state, making it even harder to know your rights as a tenant. 
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What is Kansas law on security deposits?

In Kansas, landlords usually require tenants to pay a security deposit to prove their intent to move into the property. Unless you violate the terms of your contract with your landlord, you can usually expect to get your security deposit back when your lease is up. 
Section 58-2550 of Kansas’
Civil Code
defines the rules for security deposits, including time frames for return and maximum limits. 

What is the maximum security deposit a landlord can charge in Kansas? 

Landlords in Kansas can charge a maximum of one and a half months’ rent for a furnished apartment. If you’re renting an unfurnished property, your landlord's maximum deposit limit may equal one month’s rent. 
If your landlord allows pets on the property, you can expect to pay an additional deposit of up to half of one month’s rent. 
If your landlord charges you a security deposit and claims that it’s non-refundable, consider that a red flag. If your landlord makes such claims, it may be best to look for a lease elsewhere or contact a lawyer.  

How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit in Kansas? 

After you turn in your keys, your landlord has up to 30 days to return all or part of your security deposit. 
This allows them time to determine if you’ve damaged the apartment beyond normal wear and tear and make a deduction from the deposit.
Once they determine if some or all of the deposit needs to be withheld, the landlord must return your balance within 14 days.
If you don’t request your security back, landlords in Kansas are expected to mail the deposit to the tenant’s last known address. 

What can a landlord withhold a security deposit for in Kansas?

In Kansas, landlords are allowed to keep all or a portion of your security deposit to cover: 
  • Unpaid rent
  • Damage above normal wear and tear
  • Other breaches of the lease agreement
“Normal wear and tear” usually means the amount of potential depreciation caused by living on the property—not damage from neglect or abuse. For example, your landlord expects to see minor dings or scuffs when you live in a space. 
Punching a hole through a wall or failing to report a leaking faucet that causes water damage, though, could be considered neglect or irresponsible use—and you could lose your deposit. 
Your landlord can’t keep any part of your deposit without an explanation.  If your landlord does withhold money, they should give you an itemized list of deductions.  
Key Takeaway All Kansas security deposits must be refundable, but your landlord can withhold all or part of the money if you fail to pay rent or cause avoidable damage. 
MORE: How to find the best renters insurance

How to get your security deposit back in Kansas

If you’ve moved out of your old apartment and haven’t received your security deposit back, you can do a couple of things. 
First, try asking your landlord for the security deposit in writing. Maybe they forgot or sent it to the wrong address—either way, contact your landlord and provide your current contact information. A polite and explicit request may be just the nudge the landlord needs.
If the landlord refuses to return your deposit and won’t give you a reason or you suspect they’re wrongfully withholding part of your deposit, you can take them to
small claims court
While this can be a stressful and time-consuming process, it may be worth the hassle because you could receive up to one and a half times your original deposit.  
MORE:  Kansas car insurance laws—everything you need to know 

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No. You may not use your security deposit to cover the last month's rent. 
If you skip any rent payment, you could not only lose your security deposit, but your landlord is also able to elicit the full rent amount from you anyway.
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