Can a landlord hold onto my pet deposit for longer than 14 days if not specifically stipulated in the lease?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a landlord hold onto my pet deposit for longer than 14 days if not specifically stipulated in the lease?

I am moving out soon and my landlord sent me a letter stating, “Per your lease, pet deposits will be returned no sooner than 90 days after your tenancy has been terminated”. There is no mention of this in the lease that I signed. Can a landlord hold onto a pet deposit for 90+ days?

Asked on May 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A refundable pet deposit should be returned at the same time as the rest of your security deposit. In your state, that should be within 14 days. As a practical matter, if the amount of  the deposit is not large, if the landlord does pay it after, say, 90 or 100 days, it may be best to not take action--the cost and inconvenience of a lawsuit (which is how you'd have to get it back earlier) may outweigh what you otherwise would lose from the delay. Obviously, if the deposit is large or the landlord wrongfully refuses to return it, that's another story and legal action would seem to be warranted.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption