What to do if our landlord has not returned our security deposit?

I moved out of my house after living there for 12 months. I lived with 2 roommates that all had signed the lease 12 month lease. Rent was $1500 per month with $1500 deposit. This was split 3 ways for the 3 tenants. The landlord lives out of state and has not returned the deposit and it has been well over a month. The lease states that he has 30 days after we vacate to cut us a check. I learned recently that he allowed one of the 3 tenants to stay for an extra month and because of that he took all of the deposit to pay for that month. I called him over a month before the end of the lease to tell him that we were leaving and our lease agreement was over. Is it legal for him to take this action to pay for that month when there was no new lease or agreement made dealing only with the 1 tenant that stayed?

Asked on September 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country a landlord is required to return to his or her former tenant within 21 to 45 days after move out the allowable security deposit less debit. In your matter you are entitled to your security deposit's return regardless of whatever side deal the former landlord had with your former roommate.

I would write the former landlord a note demanding the return of your security deposit within a certain time period. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and need. If the due date comes and goes and you do not have your security deposit in hand, your recourse is a small claims action against the former landlord.

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