What to do if my landlord refuses to return deposit but failed to give proper notice?

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What to do if my landlord refuses to return deposit but failed to give proper notice?

My landlord will not give the $2500 deposit back 45 days after we left the property. I thought he might try to keep the deposit because he refused to do a final walk-through after I asked him 3 separate times. He mentioned repairs needed to be done in an email 10 days after we left but it was not a certified letter. There was absolutely no damage to the property whatsoever and I videoed the house the day we left showing the local newspaper date. Can this be used as valid proof in small claims? Also, I now live 1500 miles away. Can I sue for travel costs as well as filing fees and full deposit?

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the landlord has failed to return your security deposit after the required time after move out or has failed to set forth the amount of repairs needed and debited from the security deposit with presentation of invoices to you showing the charges to your security deposit, then the landlord has most likely violated your state's statute on the return of the security deposit.

I would send the former landlord a letter demanding the return of your security deposit by a set date. If not made by then, your option is small claims court. Your video tape depicting the rental can be used as evidence concerning the security deposit issue.

Your travel costs would not be an element of your damages in small claims court, but the filing fees and the amount of the full security deposit would be items properly asked for by you if you had to go to court.


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