How can I get my security deposit back from an owner of a house I rented?

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How can I get my security deposit back from an owner of a house I rented?

We did not have a written contract; she only wants to give a partial amount.

Asked on July 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A landlord may only withhold a security deposit 1) for unpaid rent or 2) for damage, beyond normal "wear and tear," caused by the tenant. If you believe the landlord kept more than she is entitled to, you could sue her for the return of the additional money; in court, she would have to prove that she is entitled to the money (for rent or damage).


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