Can I sue the landlord for double the security deposit for not returning my deposit within 30 days?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2010

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Can I sue the landlord for double the security deposit for not returning my deposit within 30 days?

I have a permanent address in another state. I rented a furnished aptartment for business rather than stay in a hotel. My permanent address is stated in the lease. Recently I moved into another furnished apt. rather than go to a hotel. I did not provide the new apt. address to my landlord because my permanent address is in the lease. The landlord did not send a list of damages or return my deposit within 30 days of my departure. After I called they returned most of the deposit. Can I sue for double the deposit even though I didn’t provide the new address (what if I went to a hotel)?

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It appears from a reading of the Pennsylvania law on this issue that yes, you may sue if the landlord does not provide you with a list of damages and/or the full or partial security deposit no later than 30 days after the lease ends.  Did they ever provide you with the list of why the deductions were made?  You will need that as well.  Normal wear and tear is not a deduction that is generally permissible under any state law.  I can see where you may have a problem as to notifying the landlord as to where to send the deposit unless the lease itself clears up that issue as you have indicated.  Call you state Attorney General's Office Bureau of Consumer Protection and run your facts by an advocate there and see what they say.  Good luck.

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