NH Law About... Security Deposits

Introduction to... Security Deposits

Revised March 28, 2014; December 16, 2016.

Most of the questions we receive at the law library about security deposits deal with RSA 540-A, Prohibited Practices and Security Deposits. Not every residential tenancy is protected under this law so review the New Hampshire Legal Aid information on security deposits (below) carefully. The website explains who is protected, the maximum security deposit a landlord can charge, interest on security deposits, and what happens if your landlord files for bankruptcy or is in foreclosure. 

If your landlord is refusing to return a security deposit, or you're a landlord who is being sued for the return of a security deposit, review the information on the Small Claims website.  The website links to the statute governing Small Claims, RSA 503, applicable court rules and other information. 

Legal Research Note

There's one thing you might find confusing if you are using the online version of the statutes to research security deposits in manufactured housing parks. Security deposits are mentioned under RSA 205-A, Regulation of Manufactured Housing Parks. As of this writing, that statute still refers you to RSA 477:48. If you then go to RSA 477:48, you will find that that section was repealed in 1985. The online version doesn't give you any hints as to what to do next. The print version of RSA 205-A, however, has an editor's note explaining the repeal and directing researchers to RSA 540-A which, after 1985, includes manufactured housing. We won't go so far as to say that this type of error is common in the statutes, but we've seen similar things often enough that we are no longer surprised. Amending statutes is a complicated process and, every once in a while, you will see errors like this one. Editorial notes explaining mistakes are one reason why we still link to libraries that own the print statutes instead of just providing links to online versions. 

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.

Read about... Security Deposits


New Hampshire Legal Aid. Security Deposits

Link verified on: December 16, 2016

A security deposit is any money that you give to your landlord, other than your monthly rental payment. Security deposits are regulated by state law (RSA 540-A:5-8).   GO>

New Hampshire Legal Aid. Moving Into a Park.

Link verified on: December 16, 2016

Discusses security deposits and mobile home parks.   GO>

Circuit Court. District Division. Small Claims (e-filing)  GO>

Link verified on: February 24, 2017


Residential landlord and tenant law in New Hampshire / prepared by Fred K. Mayer III , Brian C. Shaughnessy. Eau Claire, WI : Lorman Education Services, c2014.

The eviction process -- The security deposit statute -- Leases -- Ethical considerations -- Collecting rent -- Prohibited practices in residential tenancies -- Residential landlord and tenant law.   GO>

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

Real estate / by Charles Szypszak. 2003  GO>

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

Every landlord's legal guide / Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner, & Janet Portman. [Berkeley, California] : Nolo, 2016.

Screening tenants : your most important decision -- Preparing leases and rental agreements -- Basic rent rules -- Security deposits -- Discrimination -- Property managers -- Getting the tenant moved in -- Cotenants, sublets, and assignments -- Landlord's duty to repair and maintain the premises -- Landlord's liability for tenant injuries from dangerous conditions -- Landlord's liability for environmental health hazards -- Landlord's liability for criminal activity -- Landlord's right of entry and tenants' privacy -- Ending a tenancy -- Returning security deposits and other move-out issues -- Problems with tenants : how to resolve disputes without a lawyer -- Late rent, terminations, and evictions -- Lawyers and legal research -- Appendix A. State landlord-tenant law charts.   GO>

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

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Read the law about... Security Deposits


RSA 126-A:50-62. Housing Security Guarantee Program.  GO>

Link verified on: December 16, 2016

RSA 161-J. Assisted Living Residences, Independent Living Retirement Communities, and Housing for Older Persons.   GO>

Link verified on: December 16, 2016

RSA 204-C:80-86 Homeless Prevention Fund.  GO>

Link verified on: December 16, 2016

RSA 205-A. Regulation of Manufactured Housing Parks  GO>

Link verified on: February 24, 2017

RSA 358-A. Regulation of Business Practices for Consumer Protection  GO>

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

RSA 540-A. Prohibited Practices and Security Deposits

Link verified on: February 24, 2017


RSA 540-B. Rental of Shared Facilities   GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Landlord & Tenant Law Annotated. LexisNexis.

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

This single-volume book is a compilation of New Hampshire landlord tenant law statutes. It includes references to New Hampshire Supreme Court decisions and to books about landlord and tenant law in New Hampshire. Libraries may borrow the NH Law Library's copy through Interlibrary Loan.   GO>

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>


He-M 1007. Housing Security Guarantee Program  GO>

Link verified on: December 16, 2016


New Hampshire. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Housing Security Guarantee Program (HSGP) & Homeless Housing and Access Revolving Loan Fund (HHARLF)

Link verified on: December 16, 2016

The Housing Security Guarantee Program (HSGP) is a non-cash voucher program that provides a guarantee for the security deposit to the landlord. The agency provides a guarantee for the security deposit to the landlord, while the tenant makes payments to the agency until the total amount of the guarantee is met. The Homeless Housing and Access Revolving Loan Fund (HHARLF) provides loans for the first month of rent and/or security deposit for homeless individuals and families.   GO>


Link verified on: March 24, 2017

Volunteer attorneys are available to answer legal questions through LawLine, a free service of the NH Bar Association. LawLine is held on the SECOND Wednesday of each month from 6:00 p.m. ~ 8:00 p.m. To reach LawLine, call (toll free) 800-868-1212.   GO>

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>

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