If my tenant moved in and moved out within 2 days and is now requestingtheir deposit back, do I have to refund it?

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If my tenant moved in and moved out within 2 days and is now requestingtheir deposit back, do I have to refund it?

I rented a apartment to a college student.He moved his things in, paid his deposit, but not the rent. After attempting to get the electric turned on he decided it would be too much money to live here and is moving out. He has demanded his deposit back stating he never moved in however he has a key, has taken possession by doing so. Do I have to refund his deposit?

Asked on August 8, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Moving in has NOTHING to do with his liability for rent. If he agreed to lease the premises, he is bound either for the whole term--if it was a written lease--or at least for one month (a month-to-month lease, where the tenancy can be terminated on one month's notice) if it was an oral or verbal lease.

That means that he owes you at least one month's rent; possibly more. You may apply the security deposit against any rent owed; so, if it was an oral or verbal lease, he will owe you one month's rent, and you may take one month's rent out of the security deposit.

Anything remaining of the deposit after that, you would need to return to the tenant, unless he also caused damage to the premises, in which case, you could apply the deposit to the repairs.


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