What to do about the return of a security deposit to multiple tenants if they don’t agree as to who is entitled to what?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about the return of a security deposit to multiple tenants if they don’t agree as to who is entitled to what?

I’m a landlord and leased a property to 2 tenants, both on the same lease. They don’t agree on who gets what amount of the deposit. The tenants argue that one owns the other one money (none of my business). One tenant paid more of the deposit then the other. Do they both get half after any deductions or an equal proportion of what they gave me after deductions? I though about writing one check payable to “Tenant A and Tenant B” and let them work it out?Because they are both jointly and individually responsible can I return the deposit to just one of them? One tenant caused damage to the property, broken glass, door. The deductions are because of one tenant. I would like to give the remaining deposit to the tenant that didn’t cause the problems if legally possible.

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Given the problem that you are confronting as a landlord with respect to the return of the former tenants' security deposit where there are issues between the two if them as to who gets what out the of the presumed check that you are writing to return the deposit, the best way to resolve the issue is to write the check to both of them jointly and have both of them meet you at a certain location so you can give it to them at the same time.

I suggest that you have a third party witness with you when the check is transferred. You are the landlord, or at least former landlord, not a "tenant counselor" dealing with issues between former tenants.

You can return the deposit on the jointly issued check to one of the former tenants if you wish such as the one who did not cause the issues you now have.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption