Can I get my security deposit back if iam no longer on the lease?

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Can I get my security deposit back if iam no longer on the lease?

Last year, I was living with a friend for just 5 months. In that time, I was put on the lease and put a $200 security deposit down. When I moved out and was taken off of the lease, they wouldn’t give me the security deposit back until my friend moved out as well. The leasing office did a walk through of the place and I have signed forms that says there is no damage to the apartment. Can they hold my deposit indefinitely while my friend lives there? They said to get the money from him.

Asked on October 5, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ultimately, once the lease  if up and if there are no legitimate claims or charges against the security deposit, it must be returned. Depending on how it was provided to the landlord, it may be sufficient for them to return it all to the other tenant--for example, if you had given him (your friend) the money and he provided it all to the landlord, it would be normal for them to return it all  to the friend, and the friend would see about splitting it up and distributing it. (The landlord's responsibility is to return the money, not necessarily to deal with how the tenants want it apportioned). Also, if your friend resided longer, it would be naturally to return the money to him when he, the last of the tenants,  moves out.

If you haven't already, check with your friend and see if he's been paid the full deposit, including your share. That will inform whether you should look to the landlord or to your friend for reimbursement.


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