Can a security deposit be issued separately to each roommate for their share?

I moved from one apartment to another last month. I have received my security deposit refund. The landlords have sent us the security deposit refund check with the names of all 4 roommates. One of them is not responding to any messages. The banks said they cannot clear the check until everyone signs behind the check. I contacted the landlords and asked them to at least split the money equally into 4 different checks with the names separated. But the landlords say that TX state law mandates that the check can’t be separated. What can we do now?

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I see the landlord's predicament if Texas law requires that the security refund check be issued with all of the former tenant's names on it if all of the former tenants paid for the initial security deposit.

One way of trying to resolve the problem with the refund of the security deposit by one check with all four (4) former tenants' names on it or separate checks for the refund amount equally divided is to see if the landlord can look into his or her records and see if each tenant paid a portion of the total security deposit. If this is what happened, the former landlord should have no problem issuing separate checks for the amount paid by each ternant for the return of their security deposit.

If the above suggestion does not work, I would keep trying to get in touch with that one former roommate so that he or she can sign the check so that it can be negotiated.

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