If my landlord is selling the building I live in, what happens to my security deposit?

I’ve asked him if my security deposit will be transferred to the new owner and he won’t answer me. What can I do before it’s too late?

Asked on July 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, most state laws require a landlord who sells the building to do one of two things: Return the deposit to the tenant or transfer it to the new owner.  I believe that the state of Ohio requires that it be transferred to the new owner.  If your present landlord does not turn it over your new landlord cannot require you to pay again and the new owner/landlord will have to pay the security you when it is time.  If the new owner refuses you will have to sue him in court for its return and may be even bring in the old landlord too. If your old landlord is not being responsive make sure you send a letter to the new landlord advising that you paid the security and that you assume it was transfered to him under the law. Good luck.

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