In New York, there has never been a general landlord's statutory or common law lien, the growth of the cities and consequent legal development of the landlord-tenant relationship has enhanced the importance of the leasehold agreement. Most landlords, seeking protection beyond tenants' personal assurances that the lease will be honored, require a provision for a security deposit in the lease. The purpose of the deposit is to assure the tenant's compliance with the covenants of the lease. Confusion over the landlord-tenant relationship with regard to the security deposit has left room for abuse of the deposit for the landlord's gain. In New York, statutory developments, such as Section 7-103 of the New York State General Obligations Law, have attempted to protect tenants' security deposits. However, this Comment argue that such protection remains weak and should be strengthened The Comment traces the common law in New York, and examines the development of the statutory law. It indicates certain remaining problems and emphasizes certain inequities that deserve legislative scrutiny.



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