Kansas Security Deposit Laws in 2024

Introduction to Kansas Security Deposit Law

Security deposits are funds paid by a tenant at the start of a lease to cover any potential damages or unpaid rent. In Kansas, security deposits are governed by Kansas Statute 58-2550. This law establishes the rights and responsibilities for tenants and landlords when it comes to security deposits in the state.

The statute lays out key provisions including limits on security deposit amounts, handling of deposits, allowable deductions, timeline for returning deposits, and penalties for noncompliance. Kansas tenants and landlords should understand their rights and obligations under the law before entering into a rental agreement. Both parties can avoid deposit disputes by adhering to the statutory requirements.

Some of the key aspects of Kansas security deposit law include:

  • Maximum deposit amounts Landlords can charge
  • Handling deposits in separate accounts
  • Performing proper move-in and move-out inspections  
  • Returning deposits within 30 days of move-out
  • Providing tenants an itemized deduction list
  • Not deducting for normal wear and tear
  • The process for disputing improper deductions

By following the statutory provisions, landlords and tenants can ensure a smooth security deposit process when starting and ending a lease in Kansas. Understanding these legal protections is an important aspect of renting in the state.

Maximum Security Deposit Amount

Kansas landlords can legally charge up to the equivalent of one month's rent for a security deposit when a tenant moves into a rental unit. For example, if the monthly rental rate is $1,000, the maximum security deposit would be $1,000 as well. 

There is no minimum deposit amount specified in Kansas law, but most landlords will require at least part of one month's rent as a deposit. Landlords cannot charge more than one month's rent upfront for the security deposit, even if the tenant agrees to it. The security deposit maximum applies to all rental units in Kansas, including apartments, houses, duplexes, and mobile homes.

If the monthly rent is raised during the lease term, the landlord cannot demand that the tenant pay more to bring the deposit up to match the new monthly rental amount. The maximum deposit is based on the original rental rate agreed upon at move-in. Landlords also cannot require a new or increased deposit when a fixed-term lease renews and switches to month-to-month tenancy.

Holding the Security Deposit

Kansas law has specific requirements for how landlords must hold security deposits. Landlords cannot commingle the deposit with their own funds or use it for their own purposes. 

Instead, Kansas Statute 58-2550 states that the landlord must deposit security deposits in a trust account at a federally insured bank, savings and loan association, or savings bank. The account must be maintained only for tenants' security deposits. 

The landlord cannot combine or mix security deposit funds with any other funds, including their own money. The deposits must remain separate in the account until refunded to the tenant or applied to damages.

Some important requirements for security deposit accounts in Kansas include:

  • Must be a separate account just for deposits, not the landlord's personal or operating funds
  • Must be at a federally insured bank, savings and loan association, or savings bank
  • Landlord cannot transfer or borrow against the funds
  • Account cannot earn interest unless agreed to in the lease
  • Landlord must provide the bank's name and address upon request

Proper handling of security deposits is crucial. If a landlord fails to follow the rules, they may be liable for up to 1.5 times the deposit amount in damages.

Returning the Security Deposit

Kansas law requires landlords to return a tenant's security deposit within 30 days after the tenant moves out and provides their forwarding address. 

Specifically, Kansas Statute 58-2550 states that within 30 days after termination of the tenancy, the landlord shall mail to the tenant at their last known address the full amount of the tenant's security deposit along with an itemized statement of any deductions.

If the tenant provided the landlord with a forwarding address, the deposit must be mailed to that address. Otherwise, the landlord can mail it to the tenant's last known address, which is typically the rental unit they moved out of.  

The 30 day timeline begins once the tenant has fully moved out, returned the keys, and provided proper notice as required by the lease agreement. Landlords cannot deduct "rent" for any days after the move out date.

If the tenant does not receive their deposit within the 30 day window, they should send a formal demand letter to the landlord requesting the return of the deposit. If the landlord still does not comply, the tenant can file a claim in small claims court for the return of their deposit plus damages.

Allowable Deductions

Kansas law allows landlords to deduct from the security deposit to repair or replace damaged items beyond normal wear and tear. Allowable deductions include:

Unpaid rent

Landlords can deduct for any rent still owed by the tenant at move out. This includes rent for the final month as well as any outstanding rent from previous months.

Damage repairs

Landlords can deduct the reasonable cost to repair any damages caused by the tenant or their guests that exceed normal wear and tear. This includes damage to the walls, floors, appliances, fixtures, windows, doors, furniture, and any other part of the rental unit or property. 


Landlords can deduct cleaning costs if the tenant leaves the unit significantly dirtier than when they moved in, excluding reasonable dirt from living in the unit. The unit should be returned in "broom clean" condition.

Carpet cleaning

Landlords can deduct professional carpet cleaning costs if stains or damage was caused by the tenant that regular cleaning could not fix. They cannot deduct for standard carpet cleaning between tenants.  

Pest control

If the tenant caused or allowed an infestation, landlords can deduct pest control costs to treat bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, and other pests.


Landlords can deduct repainting costs only for walls that are damaged beyond normal wear and require repair. They cannot deduct for repainting to match the original color.

Early termination fees

If the tenant breaks the lease early, the landlord can deduct any fees outlined in the lease agreement.

Utility bills

Any unpaid utility bills that were the tenant's responsibility can be deducted.

Rekeying fees

If the tenant fails to return all keys, landlords can deduct the cost to rekey the locks for security.

Storage fees

Landlords can deduct reasonable costs to remove and store any abandoned property left by the tenant.

Any legal costs incurred by the landlord related to the tenancy can be deducted, such as for an eviction proceeding.

Normal Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear refers to the natural deterioration that occurs through the ordinary use of a rental property over time. Kansas landlords cannot deduct from the security deposit for normal wear and tear.

According to Kansas law, the following are considered normal wear and tear:

  • Minor scuffs, scratches or nail holes in the walls that can be easily patched
  • Fading, yellowing or cracking paint over time  
  • Worn carpet or small stains that can be cleaned through regular methods
  • Appliances, fixtures and surfaces that become worn down through regular use
  • Faded window treatments or linoleum floors 
  • Dirty surfaces that can be cleaned by regular house cleaning methods

Wear and tear happens even when tenants take good care of the property. Landlords cannot make tenants pay for the property to look brand new. Normal cleaning between tenants is also the landlord's responsibility.

As long as the tenant did not cause excessive damage beyond normal deterioration, the security deposit cannot be used to replace worn items like carpets or repaint walls. The tenant should not be charged for the landlord refreshing the unit between tenants.

Improper Deductions

Kansas landlords cannot make deductions from the security deposit for normal wear and tear or damage that existed when the tenant moved in. Some common improper deductions include:


Landlords cannot deduct for repainting walls back to the original color or for minor scuffs and nail holes. Repainting between tenants is considered a normal cost of doing business.

Routine cleaning

Charging for cleaning to get the unit rent-ready is the landlord's responsibility. Tenants are only responsible for cleaning beyond normal maintenance.

Pre-existing conditions

Any damage that existed before the tenant moved in cannot be deducted from their deposit. The landlord must prove damages occurred during the tenancy.

Carpet cleaning

Regular carpet cleaning is normal maintenance between tenants. Tenants can only be charged for carpet stains or damage beyond reasonable wear and tear.


Repairs for normal wear and aging on appliances cannot be deducted, such as worn out gaskets or discoloration. Tenants are only liable for negligent damage.

Yard maintenance

Lawn care and landscaping are the landlord's ongoing responsibility. Tenants cannot be charged for overgrown lawns or routine trimming.

Pest control

Typical pest control between tenants is the landlord's cost and cannot be deducted. Tenants are only responsible for infestations caused by negligence.

Storage fees

Landlords cannot charge tenants for storing abandoned property or deduct it from the deposit. Proper notice must be given before disposing of any property left behind.

Damages Exceeding the Deposit

If damages to the rental unit exceed the amount of the security deposit, the landlord has the right to sue the tenant to recover the excess costs in Kansas. 

Kansas law does not limit the amount a landlord can seek from the tenant for damages beyond the security deposit amount. If a landlord carries out repairs and determines the tenant caused more damages than the deposit covers, the landlord can take legal action to recoup the additional costs.

Some examples of situations where a Kansas landlord may sue a tenant for excess damages include:

  • Extreme property damage from tenant negligence or intentional acts
  • Numerous holes in walls requiring drywall repair  
  • Broken windows or doors
  • Flooding damages from tenant misuse
  • Smoke, fire, or water damage 
  • Pet urine stains in carpet requiring full replacement
  • Infestations from lack of cleanliness
  • Missing or broken appliances
  • Removal of fixtures or systems

If the landlord opts to sue for damages above the security deposit, the tenant will have a right to contest the claims. The judge will look at documentation like photos and repair receipts to determine if the amounts are reasonable. Tenants are advised to take ample move-out photos to protect themselves against inflated or fraudulent claims.

It is in the best interest of landlords and tenants to work cooperatively to determine fair damage amounts. Going through the courts can be time-consuming and costly for both parties. Reasonable compromises are ideal for excess deposit disputes.

Disputing Deductions

If a tenant believes the landlord has made improper or excessive deductions from the security deposit, there are a few options for disputing the charges in Kansas:

Send a demand letter

The tenant can send a formal letter contesting the deductions and demanding the disputed portion of the deposit be returned. This puts the landlord on notice and starts a paper trail. The letter should list the specific deductions being disputed and the tenant's reasoning. 

File in small claims court

If the landlord does not respond to the demand letter, the next step would be to sue in small claims court. The jurisdictional limit is $4,000 in Kansas, making small claims court a viable option for most security deposit disputes. The tenant would need to provide evidence such as photos and move-in/move-out inspection reports.

Negotiate a settlement

The tenant could try negotiating directly with the landlord to reach a compromise on the deductions. Sometimes landlords are willing to reduce charges if a tenant pushes back respectfully. Open communication and documentation helps.

Consult a tenant rights group

Non-profit tenant advocacy groups in Kansas may be able to provide advice and assistance for free. These groups are familiar with common deposit issues.

Hire an attorney

For more complex disputes, consulting a landlord-tenant attorney may be worthwhile. An attorney can review the deductions and evidence to build a stronger case. Most attorneys offer free consultations.

The judge will ultimately determine if the landlord's deductions are valid or if the tenant is entitled to a larger refund. Proper documentation and evidence is key when disputing deposit charges.

Move Out Process

A tenant's responsibilities don't end when they provide notice to vacate. To avoid security deposit disputes, the tenant should properly prepare the rental unit before returning possession back to the landlord. Here are some tips for tenants on the move out process in Kansas:

  • Provide Proper Notice - Tenants should notify the landlord in writing of their intention to vacate. The lease terms will specify how much notice is required, generally 30 days. 
  • Schedule a Move Out Inspection - Request an initial move out inspection with the landlord about 2 weeks prior to vacating. This allows time to address any cleaning or repairs the landlord requests.
  • Clean Thoroughly - Tenants are responsible for cleaning the rental to avoid deductions. This includes appliances, floors, windows, bathrooms, closets etc. 
  • Photograph the Condition - Take date-stamped pictures showing the condition of the unit after cleaning. This documents any pre-existing damage.
  • Remove All Belongings - Don't abandon any furniture, trash bags or personal effects. The landlord can charge for hauling away belongings.  
  • Return All Keys - All keys, garage openers, gate cards, etc should be handed directly to the landlord. Get a signed receipt. 
  • Provide a Forwarding Address - Supply the landlord with a forwarding address in writing for return of the security deposit refund.
  • Request a Final Inspection - Ask the landlord to perform a final walkthrough after cleaning to agree on the condition.

Following these steps helps demonstrate the tenant met their responsibilities, making deposit disputes less likely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the law for returning security deposits in Kansas?

In Kansas, landlords must return the security deposit within 30 days after the termination of tenancy and delivery of possession by the tenant, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing.

What is considered reasonable wear and tear in Kansas?

Reasonable wear and tear in Kansas refers to the normal deterioration of a property from ordinary, everyday use. This includes minor issues such as small scuffs on walls, faded paint, and normal carpet wear. It does not cover significant damages like large holes in walls or stains on carpeting.

Can you be charged more than your security deposit for damages in Kansas?

Yes, in Kansas, if the damages to the property exceed the amount of the security deposit, the landlord can charge the tenant for the additional costs. The tenant is legally responsible for the cost of repairs for any damage beyond normal wear and tear.

What is the 14/30 notice to the landlord in Kansas?

The 14/30 notice in Kansas is a written notice a tenant can give to a landlord regarding a failure to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition. The notice must specify the breaches, and the landlord has 14 days to address the issues. If not corrected within 14 days, the tenant may terminate the lease after a 30-day period.

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