Can my landlord really keep a portion of my security deposit after almost 2 months?

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Can my landlord really keep a portion of my security deposit after almost 2 months?

I moved out of my apartment 2 months ago, my roommate moved out about a week later. After about a month of not receiving our security deposit my roommate called and was told that the landlord hadn’t even gone to look at the property yet. A few days ago I emailed him asking for a status update only to find out that he wants to charge up for a window with broken clips, it won’t stay in place, that we did not break. It’s bad enough that I’ve had to wait this long for my money back but now he’s trying to charge me for this window that we didn’t break.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Rhode Island

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

To answer your question, you must read the terms of your written lease about the security deposit retention and return requirements between you and your former landlord. Such requirements if listed typically control the situation if they do not violate the laws of your State.

However, many States have laws requiring that the landlord within 21 days after the tenant vacates the property that was rented to return the security deposit in full, and if the full amount is not returned, state in writing to the tenant why this did not occur such as repairs needing to be made. If repairs were made post leaving, invoices and receipt for the repairs need to be attached and a check for the unused security deposit's portion sent to the tenant.


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