Your Right to a Timely Return of Your Security Deposit:
Your landlord must return your security deposit within 14 days of moving out. If your landlord takes any money out of the security deposit for damages, they must provide an itemized “receipt” describing the damage and its cost. If your landlord does not provide this receipt within 14 days of your moving out, they must return the entire security deposit, whether there is damage or not.
Reducing Deductions From Your Security Deposit:
If you are concerned about your landlord withholding money from your security deposit as cleaning fees you have the legal option to ask your landlord to inspect the unit before your move-in. They must allow you to be present during the inspection. During the move in inspection you may point out any damages on the premises and execute a written agreement listing those damages. Once you leave the property, the landlord may not point to, or deduct from the deposit, any repair costs that are associated with the items listed in that agreement. Similarly, when you move out you may inspect your property with your landlord and they can tell you what needs to be fixed. You will then have the opportunity to fix any issues to prevent the landlord from keeping part or all of your security deposit. Additionally, to be extra cautious, take pictures of the state of the apartment before moving out.
What To Do If Your Landlord Unjustifiably Withholds Part/All Of Your Security Deposit:
When withholding any amounts from your security deposit your landlord must provide an itemized list of how much is withheld and why it was withheld, such as necessary repairs, cleaning costs, and past due rent.
If the landlord does not provide an explanation of why this money was withheld, the first step is to reach out to the landlord asking why the money was withheld, this is best done in writing so you have written evidence of your inquiry and your landlord’s response. If the answer that your landlord provides is not satisfactory the next option available is to take your issue to small claims court.
What To Do If Your Landlord Does Not Return Your Security Deposit On Time:
If it has been more than 14 days since you moved out and your landlord has not returned your security deposit, the first step is to send the landlord a written request (email, text, etc.) asking for the return of the full security deposit. If within a few days you do not receive any notification about the security deposit being returned you may bring this issue to small claims court and complete this complaint form.