If it’s been more than a month since we vacated and the landlord never sent a list of damages, canI get the entire deposit back?

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If it’s been more than a month since we vacated and the landlord never sent a list of damages, canI get the entire deposit back?

Sent text messages. I asked about the deposit a week later and he gave some damages “off the top of [his] head.” He said he has pictures. I asked for a detailed list and gave him my email and mailing address. I haven’t received such a list nor any of the deposit. The landlord owns less than 10 units, so it’s unclear if the 1 month requirement of state law requires him to return the entire deposit. If so, would it be unwise to use that to negotiate down the damages? I’d like to resolve this with minimal legal action and I’m fine with paying for the valid damages.

Asked on October 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In every state in this country a landlord is required to return a tenant's security deposit upon move out within a certain period of time, usually between 21 to 45 days. If the full amount is not returned in the required time period, the landlord is required to send an itemization as to what as kept with backup documentation such as receipts showing the expenses taken from the deposit.

I suggest that you write the former landlord a letter requesting the return of your security deposit by a set date keeping a copy for your records. If the date comes and goes where you have not received the amount owed you, your option is unfortunately small claims court.

Good luck.


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