If y landlord has not returned my deposit even though I moved out over a month ago at the end of my lease, what should I do next?

He verbally admitted to me that he did not have my deposit on hand when I asked if I could get it back early. He now will not even communicate with me and owes me $750 for our deposit and $250 for our refundable pet deposit. He has no proof that he kept the deposits in a separate bank account, as he should have according to state landlord-tenant law. Nor did he ever provide me with the account information and location. If he can not prove he kept the deposits as he legally should have, can he keep any amount of it for any reason? Should I start filing for small claims court?

Asked on July 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor


You seem to be aware of the law in your state, but here it is in detail:  The landlord is NOT entitled to keep any of the deposit if they neglect to open a separate Landlord Tenant Account or fail to complete and sign BOTH the move in inspection and move out inspection with the tenant.

If the tenant fails to pay last month's month rent, the landlord may remove the monies from the account and apply to the balance owing, after 30 days and the tenant did not demand return of the deposit.

If the tenant vacates not owing money, the landlord will mail a notice of the amount  of the refund and after 60 days, the landlord after 60 days may remove the funds from the account for their own use. 

Generally a landlord can keep what ever poriton of the deposit for damage over and above "normal wear and tear" and yes, they have to prove it and the fees.  Small claims court is your best bet.  Good luck. 


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