Social Issues

CITIZEN VOICES®

Allow double security deposits?

Mar 23, 2018

The New Hampshire House recently killed a bill that would have doubled the amount landlords are allowed to charge for a security deposit, from the equivalent of one month’s rent to two months’ rent. It was the second time in recent years the House had killed a move to raise the ceiling on security deposit amounts.

Read more about New Hampshire's current landlord and tenant laws

"Should landlords in New Hampshire be allowed to ask for two months' rent - not just one - for a security deposit?"

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page March 10, 2018

274 citizens responded168 citizens were opposed to allowing two months' rent for security deposits82 citizens were in favor of allowing two months' rent for security deposits24 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

No: 168 citizens were opposed to allowing landlords to ask for two months’ rent for a security deposit.

  • “Are you looking to create more homeless people? Rents are high as it is. Allowing landlords to collect double for security deposit only makes it harder for people to get a place to live.”
  •  “Every landlord I have come across has asked first and last and a security deposit. It's completely outlandish to expect people to pay that much upfront when 25% to 30% of the time landlords at least near my area don't even give you back your security deposit even if you have no damages.”
  •  “Rent is already high enough to cover any ‘wear and tear’ damage from renting. Any excessive damage claims end up in court for repayment. All this would do is enable landlords to keep a larger deposit, and landlords RARELY give back the deposit even if there is no damage.”

Yes: 82 citizens were in favor of allowing landlords to ask for two months’ rent for a security deposit.

  • “Almost all tenants I've had think the security deposit is last month’s rent. There is no real recourse when they do this and leave a mess or worse when they leave.”
  • “If you don't like the offer don't sign the contract. No one is forcing you to rent the place.”
  • “I have had tenants move out several times and the cost to repair the unit has been more than double the security deposit. … Add that to non-payment of the last month’s rent and it's way over!”

Other: 24 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Additional laws: “[Landlords] should be required to paint the apartment between every tenant without charging the outgoing tenant.”
  • Bigger issues: “The real problem is we can't afford homes, so we have to rent.”
  • Alternative policies: “Maybe require renters insurance up front, one month security, background checks, and get some laws passed making eviction process more fair. Don’t penalize the law abiding working renters because of some dirtbags.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

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Related Bill

HB 1485 (2018)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Jan 24, 2018

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