Is there any recourseagainst a landlord that takes too long to return a security deposit or notify tenants as to why they refuse to pay?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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Is there any recourseagainst a landlord that takes too long to return a security deposit or notify tenants as to why they refuse to pay?

SD law states that the landlord must give the security deposit back within 2 weeks or notify the tenant within 45 days with an itemized description of why tenants will not receive deposit back. It took 84 days for our landlord to send us the partial deposit back, and they are unwilling to work it out. We want to take them to small claims court for the full deposit but want to see if they have any recourse that we need to be aware of.

Asked on August 25, 2011 South Dakota


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is unclear to me if the written and itemized accounting must be requested by you as the tenants and provided within 45 days or the landlord has to provide it if they do not return the security deposit.  But either way, you are entitled to the information and the money.  IF there are local ordinances that apply to your situation - which there may be - then it is best to consult with an attorney or tenant's rights group in your area just to be sure.  But otherwise it looks clear to sue as long as you can prove that the apartment was not destroyed beyond the normal wear and tear that the law generally allows.  Good luck to you.

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