Wht to do if half of my security deposit is being withheld without proof of work being done?

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Wht to do if half of my security deposit is being withheld without proof of work being done?

A landlord has only returned half of our security deposit with no proof or receipts of work done. He has explained the money he’s withholding (about $1500) in an email but has provided no proof. He has also claimed we’ve taken things from the home that I know were not on the inventory checklist when we moved in. We unfortunately do not have a copy of this checklist, and he is refusing to give us a copy of his (I don’t think he has it either). Does he legally have to provide us receipts of the work he’s had done? Can we file a small claim?

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlord does not need to provide copies of receipts with his security deposit disposition letter or statement. However, if you believe that he has withheld amounts that he is not entitled to (e.g. for items you did not take; for work he did not do; for damage you did not cause; and/or at inflated rates), you could sue him for the return of the security deposit (such as in small claims court). During the course of the litigation, he will have to show the work and amounts paid.


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