If you have left a rental dwelling in good physical shape, with all the appliances clean and in good working order, you should be able to receive your deposit back within 30 days; this is the legal limit, but you need to check what is stated in the lease agreement. However, if you do not have a lease, you should receive a letter within 21 days after the key is returned and you are physically out of the dwelling. Please read on to see what you can do if this does not happen.
Step 1: You must file a Request for Return of Security Deposit form. This form can be found online..
Step 2: Use certified mail and fill out the return receipt request. Send the form to the former landlord's attention at the same location where you paid your rent.
Step 3: Be sure to keep a copy of the form (Request for Return of the Security Deposit) for your records.
Step 4: Keep the return receipt for your records.
Step 5: From the date the landlord received the form; you must wait seven days. If the first mailing is ignored by the landlord; send another copy using regular mail. Wait ten days; three for delivery, and a seven-day notice time.
If after seven days the landlord still has not returned the deposit, you have two options. You can go to the Small Claims Court to privately sue the landlord. You may also hire a lawyer on contingency, meaning the lawyer's fee will be collected when the case wins in court. The judge may also order the landlord to pay the fees if the landlord wrongfully kept the deposit. Be sure you have all the necessary information; if you don't, the landlord can enter a counterclaim if damages made to the dwelling or other information was omitted during the case.
If the landlord fails to do any of the following, the court must award three times the amount of the security deposit:
-Return the full deposit or balance after damages within the 30 days' required amount of time
-Have a proper (secured) deposit account that is separate from the landlord's funds for the security deposit
-Transfer the security deposit to a new owner of the company or private person
It is extremely important to know what rights you have when it comes to security deposits. Many of the individuals that have rental property, especially private owners, may take advantage of the tenant. Never go to court unless you have the correct documents. Hopefully, this information will enable the return of the deposit that belongs to you.
If you require further assistance, contact legal professionals like The Legal Solution Professional Corporation.