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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13868
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My landlord has asked me for a second security deposit,

Customer Question

My landlord has asked me for a second security deposit, about 2 1/2 months after I moved in. Do I have to give a second deposit if he cashed the first?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Virginia
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: The house was not well kept when I moved in. Squirrels living in the overhang, old furniture on the lawn/in the weeds, moss/mold growing on the roof, dishwasher broken, carbon monoxide issues with the oven
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They have been posting charges to my tenant account without my notice, dating charges back as far as 75 days prior to post date
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your patience.

So long as the landlord doesn't exceed the allowed total amount of the security deposit (which in Virginia is two months rent), there is nothing that prohibits a landlord from seeking the additional amount.

Here is the relevant statute (it's very long so I didn't copy and paste it here).

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
even though my lease states a specific amount, they can request a second deposit & I have no recourse?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your reply. I need to add a caveat to my answer. The Virginia statutes don't specifically address the idea of an additional deposit -they only mention that a landlord cannot seek more than double the rent.

However, the caveat is that you have to look to the contract. Unless the contract allows the landlord to demand an extra security, then the landlord would be in breach of contract by insisting that a tenant pay it. In other words, if the lease says something like "Tenant to pay security deposit in the amount equal to one month's rent upon move in" -the parties must abide by that. Of course come lease renewal time, the landlord can seek an additional deposit, or the parties can agree to amend the contract to allow for an additional deposit.

Now, if the lease does have language that says the landlord is entitled to seek an additional deposit at any time during the lease (e.g., maybe you get a pet 3 months after moving in and the landlord wishes to protect themselves against the possible damages a pet could do) then such would be allowable because the lease provides for it.

I've had such a clause written into a lease for an apartment I rented in Florida -and indeed, I got a dog about 8 months into my lease and ended up paying more security.