Wyoming Security Deposit Laws in 2024

Introduction to Wyoming Security Deposit Law

This comprehensive guide provides an overview of Wyoming security deposit laws that all renters and landlords should understand. Security deposits are a standard requirement for renters to pay before moving into a rental unit. The deposit provides financial protection for the landlord if the tenant causes damages or leaves unpaid rent. 

However, disputes often arise when tenants move out over how much of the deposit landlords can rightfully keep. Wyoming has specific statutes that regulate security deposits to protect the rights of both parties. All renters and landlords in Wyoming should understand the state laws regarding handling of deposits, permissible deductions, refunds, dispute resolutions, and more.

Knowing the specific provisions, procedures, and deadlines in Wyoming landlord-tenant law is crucial for ensuring your deposit is handled properly. This guide will outline all the key rules, recent changes, tips, and frequently asked questions about security deposits in Wyoming. Understanding these rental laws is essential to avoid deposit disagreements and ensure your rights are protected.

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit is a payment required by landlords in Wyoming to cover potential damages, unpaid rent, or other costs when a tenant moves out. It serves as a form of insurance for the landlord if the tenant violates the lease terms or leaves the property damaged.  

In Wyoming, landlords can charge a security deposit up to one month's rent. Typically the deposit amount ranges from $500 to $1000 for an apartment, and may be higher for single family homes or luxury units. The security deposit is paid at the beginning of the lease term, and may be combined with the first month's rent.

Landlords require a security deposit to protect against the costs of:

  • Repairing damage caused by tenants above normal wear and tear, such as holes in walls, broken fixtures, or stained carpets
  • Covering unpaid rent if the tenant breaks the lease early or skips payments
  • Paying cleaning fees if the tenant leaves the unit excessively dirty 
  • Replacing lost keys or entry fobs

The security deposit gives the landlord peace of mind and covers their costs if the tenants mistreat the property or fail to fulfill the lease. Wyoming laws protect tenants by limiting how much landlords can charge and holding them accountable for properly returning deposits.

Handling of Security Deposits 

In Wyoming, landlords are required to place security deposits in a separate bank account that is not used for any other purpose. The deposits must be held in trust, meaning the funds belong to the tenant until the lease ends. 

Landlords must provide the tenant with proper written notices about the security deposit within 14 days of receiving it. This notice should include the name of the financial institution where the deposit is held, along with any terms for retaining and returning the deposit.

Within 30 days after a tenant moves out at the end of a lease, the landlord must return the full security deposit plus any accrued interest. Exceptions may apply if the landlord provides the tenant an itemized list of deductions for damages, cleaning, or unpaid rent. The landlord must send this list indicating why they are keeping a portion of the deposit within the same 30 day timeframe.

Permissible Deductions from a Security Deposit

Landlords in Wyoming are permitted to deduct money from a tenant's security deposit for unpaid rent and damages beyond normal wear and tear. The security deposit can also be used to cover cleaning fees if this is stipulated in the original lease agreement. 

Unpaid Rent

If a tenant moves out with unpaid rent, the landlord can use the security deposit to cover the amount owed. This includes rent from the final month of tenancy or any previous months where rent went unpaid.

Damage Beyond Normal Wear and Tear

Landlords can deduct from the deposit to repair or replace any damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear. This includes damages such as:

  • Holes in the walls
  • Stained or damaged carpeting 
  • Missing fixtures or appliances
  • Broken windows and doors

If the unit was left excessively dirty, deductions can be made for cleaning or repairing the property to its original move-in condition.

Cleaning Fees 

If the original lease agreement specifies cleaning fees that will be deducted, the landlord can use the deposit to cover professional cleaning services after move-out to meet the condition standards outlined in the lease.

Limits on Deductions

While Wyoming law allows the above deductions, it does place certain limits on security deposit uses:

  • The landlord cannot deduct for normal wear and tear
  • Deductions must match the actual costs incurred by the landlord  
  • The landlord must provide receipts and documentation for deductions

Tenant's Rights Regarding the Security Deposit

Tenants in Wyoming have important rights when it comes to security deposits that protect them from unfair deductions and losing their deposit money.


Tenants have the right to be present for the move-in and move-out inspections. These inspections are critical for documenting the condition of the rental unit. Tenants should participate in the move-in inspection and take their own photos to record any pre-existing damage. For the move-out, the tenant should schedule a time to meet the landlord and walk through the unit, noting any areas of concern on the inspection report.

Objecting to Deductions

If a landlord decides to withhold any part of the deposit, they must send the tenant an itemized list of deductions within 30 days after move-out. Tenants have the right to review this deduction list and object to any fees they believe are unwarranted. This objection should happen quickly in writing to dispute improper deductions from the deposit.

Recovering the Deposit 

If the landlord fails to return the deposit or provide a deduction list within 30 days, the tenant can recover up to twice the amount of the deposit through the courts. Tenants also have the right to recover their full deposit or dispute unfair deductions by filing a claim in small claims court if negotiations with the landlord fail. The judge will then determine whether deductions were proper or if the tenant is owed their deposit money.

Dispute Resolution

If a tenant believes the landlord has wrongfully withheld all or part of the security deposit, there are several options to resolve the dispute:


The first step should be to try to negotiate directly with the landlord. Review the deductions, point out any improper ones, and request the full or remaining deposit back. Provide documentation like photos and repair estimates to support your case. Approach the discussion cooperatively, as both parties should aim for a reasonable resolution.

Demand Letter 

If negotiation fails, the next step is sending a formal demand letter to the landlord. The letter should identify deductions you dispute, cite relevant laws, formally request the disputed amount, and give a deadline to respond, usually 30 days. Send the letter by certified mail and keep a copy. The letter puts the landlord on notice you are serious about pursuing the matter.

Small Claims Court

If the landlord does not return the disputed amount after receiving a demand letter, the tenant can file a claim in small claims court. In Wyoming, tenants can sue for up to $6,000 in small claims court, covering most security deposit disputes. Gather evidence like the lease, photos, letters, and repair bills. The court will schedule a hearing for both parties to present arguments. If the judge agrees the landlord violated the law, the court can order the landlord to return the wrongfully withheld deposit, plus penalties and interest.

Mediation Services

Some disputes over security deposits may be resolved through mediation if both parties agree to this option. Wyoming has dispute resolution programs that provide mediation services for a small fee or sometimes free of charge. A neutral mediator helps facilitate a discussion and negotiate an agreement. Mediation can often resolve disputes faster than going to court.

Protecting Your Security Deposit

When renting a property, your security deposit is a significant amount of money you want to get back at the end of your lease. Here are some tips for renters to protect their security deposit in Wyoming:

Document the Condition at Move-In 

  • When you first move into the rental unit, inspect it carefully and note any existing damages, defects, or issues. Go through the property room by room and make a list of any wear, stains, or problems.
  • Take dated pictures or video of the entire premises when empty to document the starting condition. Pay close attention to carpets, walls, appliances, fixtures, and cabinets. 
  • If there is a checklist for the move-in walkthrough, ensure any pre-existing damage is noted on the form.
  • Keep copies of the completed checklist, your notes, and the photos/videos for comparison when you move out.

Request Repairs in Writing During the Lease

  • During your lease term, promptly communicate any maintenance issues, damages, or defects to the landlord in writing via email or letter. 
  • Keep copies of all written requests you send regarding repairs needed. This shows you took care of the unit.
  • If the landlord does not adequately respond, follow-up in writing on the unaddressed repair requests.

Schedule a Walkthrough with the Landlord Before Moving Out

  • Per Wyoming law, you have a right to a joint pre-move out inspection of the property with the landlord to identify any needed cleaning or repairs.
  • Schedule this walkthrough well in advance of your move out date. 
  • Address any concerns raised and complete any identified cleaning, repairs, or touch ups. This avoids deduction disputes.

Take Date-Stamped Photos After Moving Out

  • After you have removed all belongings and cleaned the unit, take dated photos or video capturing the condition of the emptied rental.
  • Pay extra attention to areas that were noted at move-in or where repairs were requested.
  • The dated move-out documentation will protect you if the landlord falsely claims excessive damages.

Changes in the Wyoming Law for 2023

In 2023, Wyoming enacted several changes to the state laws governing security deposits that both tenants and landlords should be aware of. Here are the key updates:

Increased Limits on Security Deposit Amounts

Wyoming lawmakers passed a bill increasing the maximum allowable security deposit amount that landlords can charge tenants. For unfurnished units, the limit is now up to 2 months' rent. For furnished units, landlords can now require up to 3 months' rent as a security deposit. These new limits apply to all new leases signed after the law's effective date.

Interest-Bearing Accounts Now Required 

As of January 1, 2023, Wyoming statute requires landlords to hold security deposits in interest-bearing accounts for the tenant's benefit. Each year, landlords must pay tenants at least 75% of the interest earned on their security deposit account. This ensures tenants receive some compensation for giving up a substantial deposit.

New Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

Wyoming added provisions to assist victims of domestic violence who need to break a lease early for safety reasons. Landlords are now prohibited from deducting fees and penalties from a security deposit if a tenant terminates a lease due to domestic abuse. Additionally, the law bars landlords from disclosing the tenant's status as a victim to third parties. These changes shield victims from unfair financial consequences when escaping violence.

Key Facts About Wyoming Security Deposit Laws

Interest Requirements

Wyoming law does not require landlords to pay interest on security deposits. Landlords may choose to pay interest voluntarily, but there is no legal obligation. This makes Wyoming different from some other states that mandate interest payments on deposits.

Handling Deposits of Deceased Tenants 

If a tenant passes away during their lease term, Wyoming law requires the landlord to return the security deposit to the tenant's estate, minus any lawful deductions, within 30 days. The deposit cannot be withheld from the estate even if the tenant still owed rent at the time of death.

Application to Subsidized Housing

The state's security deposit laws apply to all rental housing, including units that receive government subsidies like Section 8 vouchers. Subsidized housing must follow the same rules for deposits, deductions, and returns. However, federal law may impose additional requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the security deposit laws in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, security deposit laws are covered under Wyoming Statute § 1-21-1210. This law outlines the rules and regulations for landlords collecting security deposits from tenants in Wyoming. Key provisions include:

  • Landlords can charge up to 2 months rent for a security deposit 
  • Deposits must be held in a separate bank account in Wyoming
  • Interest must be paid on deposits if over $500
  • Deposits must be returned within 30 days after lease ends
  • Landlords can only deduct for unpaid rent, damages, and fees agreed to in the lease 
  • Tenants must be given notice of deductions and remaining deposit
  • Disputes can be taken to small claims court 

When does a landlord have to return a security deposit in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, landlords have 30 days after the termination of a lease to return a tenant's security deposit. This includes providing an itemized list of any deductions from the deposit. If a landlord fails to return the deposit in 30 days without a valid reason, they could face penalties under Wyoming law.

What can a landlord deduct from a security deposit in Wyoming?

Under Wyoming Statute § 1-21-1210, Wyoming landlords can legally deduct the following from a tenant's security deposit:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Damage to the unit beyond normal wear and tear
  • Unpaid utilities agreed to in the lease  
  • Cleaning fees, if stipulated in the lease
  • Late fees and other charges agreed to in the lease

Normal wear and tear is not an allowable deduction. Landlords cannot deduct for pre-existing conditions.

What are a tenant's rights regarding security deposits in Wyoming?

Tenants in Wyoming have the right to:

  • Receive a detailed list of deductions from their security deposit 
  • Object to improper deductions in writing  
  • Sue a landlord in small claims court for wrongfully withholding a security deposit
  • Recover double the amount wrongfully withheld
  • Conduct a walkthrough inspection at move-out  
  • Be present for the move-out inspection
  • Request repairs in writing during the lease

Tenants should document the condition of the unit at move-in and move-out. They can dispute improper deductions from the security deposit in writing to the landlord within 30 days.

How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit after a lease ends in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, landlords have 30 calendar days after the termination of a lease to return a tenant's security deposit with an itemized deduction list. The 30 days starts after a tenant has fully moved out and returned the keys. If a landlord fails to meet this deadline, they could be liable under Wyoming law for penalties.

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