If there was a verbal agreement about returning a deposit, despite the lack of a30 day notice, can the landlord use that as an excuse to keep it?

UPDATED: Oct 6, 2011

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If there was a verbal agreement about returning a deposit, despite the lack of a30 day notice, can the landlord use that as an excuse to keep it?

I had a 1 year lease and then I went month-to-month for another 1 1/2 years. I told the landlord that I was seriously looking to move and 2 months later I applied for a place and told her about it. But there was no guarantee I’d get it. She said she wanted me out either way. I did end up getting it, so I told her I’d be moving out 2 weeks later. She said there would be no reason for me to not get my deposit back if I left the apartment clean. I left it very clean and she agreed. But she’s saying I don’t get my deposit because I didn’t give 30 days notice. However she told my ex he could have his half.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are entitled to the return of your security deposit depends upon what the initial written lease states. As such, you need to carefully read it in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If the landlord is refusing to return to you your security deposit because you did not give her thrity (30) days notice of termination of your lease, most likely the landlord must give the full deposit back if it was a traditional security deposit for damages and not last month's rent. Additionally, most states have requirements that the landlord must return the security deposit in full within so many days of a tenant's move out and if not, a letter setting forth the reasons why the full amount was not returned with receipts for any repairs must be sent.

Sounds as though you might have to go to small claims court to get your secuirty deposit back.

Good luck.

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