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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020

    Default Is the Tenant Entitled to Return of the Security Deposit After Breaching Lease

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Pennsylvania.

    A tenant broke his lease by moving out almost a half of a year early on a year long lease. I thought that there may be some amount that I could withhold from his deposit for the work of vetting and signing a new tenant. All I could find with a web search was a page that said that the deposit could be withheld for breach of the lease in Pennsylvania. It was vague as to the type of breach and if it was the whole deposit or not. I did rerent the unit quickly and there was no loss of rent. So, can I withhold all, some, or any of the deposit for the time spent getting a new tenant?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Is the Tenant Entitled to Return of the Security Deposit After Breaching Lease

    You may apply the security deposit ONLY to any monetary damage you actually incurred as a result of the breach.

    I suggest you study the PA security deposit statute, especially 250.512 which addresses YOUR obligations:

    If it's already more than 30 days since the tenant moved out and you haven't complied with the statute you would be wise to send the entire refund to the tenant before he figures out that he can get double the deposit back.

    If you are still within the 30 days, figure up your costs that resulted from the breach (costs you can document with receipts) and pro-rate the number of days between tenants, send the list in writing along with a check for what is left.

    Of course, if the tenant skipped and left no forwarding, you get to keep it all.

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