What to do if my landlord is wrongfully trying to keep my security deposit?

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What to do if my landlord is wrongfully trying to keep my security deposit?

After I moved, my landlord waited exactly 21 days to inform me that I would not get my deposit and that I would be charged an additional $900 for damages to the property. No receipts were given although I did ask for them and I was told that the receipts would be in the mail. What rights do I have to protect myself? Aren’t I supposed to receive receipts within 21 days? Does my landlord get more time to send me receipts? The damages claim is false; I was told that the knobs on the oven were broken so she had to buy a new stove.

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In California, the landlord is required to return a former tenant's security deposit within 21 days of move out, and if the full amount of the security deposit is not returned in that time period, the former tenant must be provided the receipts for the amount of th security deposit not returned as well as a breakdown of the used security deposit from the landlord per statute.

Failure to do so could be deemed a violation of statute. In your situation, i would write the landlord a letter requesting the needed information and documentaiton by a certain date. if not provided within the requested time period, your option would be small claims court. keep a copy of the letter sent to the landlord for future reference.


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