Can my old landlord keep my deposit because he has yet to recieve the new tenants’ deposit?

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Can my old landlord keep my deposit because he has yet to recieve the new tenants’ deposit?

I signed a year long lease with my landlord that ended the month before last. My deposit was $900. Due to circumstances, in the last 2 months of the lease I needed to find new roommates, which I did. Those roommates decided to sign their own lease when I left and owed the landlord their own $900 deposit. These new tenants have not made good on their deposit yet and as they lived with me for the last 2 months of my lease, the landlord is blaming me and not returning my deposit until he gets theirs. Is that even legal?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your former landlord's retention of your $900.00 deposit is improper. You had your own agreement with the landlord completely different than the subsequent written agreement your former roommates entered into with him or her after you properly ended your lease.

Most states have laws requiring the return of the deposit within 21 to 30 days after the tenant vacates the rented property.

If full deposit is not returned in this time period, the landlord must send written notice for the reasons why and invoices/receipts for any debits.

If there is a local landlord-tenant clinic near you, you should consult with it regarding your options including a small claims court action. The former landlord's retention of your deposit is legally wrong.


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