What are my rights to a refund of my security deposit whenI move out?

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What are my rights to a refund of my security deposit whenI move out?

I was renting an apartment. Mylease expired 3 months ago but I paid my rent for the next month knowing that I would be a tenant-at-will. My building was sold on the 20th. and my deposit was transferred to new owners. My tenancy-at-will ended. The new owners never came up with a new lease or agreement. I told them we were moving out on the second of the next month but now they are trying to charge me rent for the whole month and are keeping most of my deposit without a lease or agreement. Can this be done?

Asked on October 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You first need to carefully read your lease for the unit you are renting with the former owner in that this document controls the obligations owed to you by the new landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

When you move out of the rental, the person who received your security deposit has an obligation to return it to you within the time period required by statute in your state, 21 to 45 days depending upon the state you live in. If the full amount is not returned, you are entitled to see what a portion was used for that you did not receive.

Most states have requirements that when a person buys real property subject to a lease that a document called a "tenant estoppel certificate" is signed by the tenant, old landlord and landlord to be setting forth the terms of the lease and who has the tenant's deposits. Hopefully this was done in your situation.

If the new landlords are not going to honor your move out date and the general terms of your lease concerning the monthly rent, you most likely will have to go to small claims court against them.

Good luck.

 

 


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