What to do about a landlord’s failure to returna security deposit 18 months later?

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What to do about a landlord’s failure to returna security deposit 18 months later?

Tenant ruined carpet and moved out. Landlord replaced carpet and has receipts, Landlord did not return the security deposit or provide itemized statement describing why it was held. 18 months later, landlord finds uncashed rent check and cashes it. Tenant argues that security deposit must be returned. Is landlord required to return deposit because no itemized statement was provided? Or is it too late? Or can an itemized statement of damage be provided now?

Asked on August 5, 2011 Colorado

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Laws in most states in this country require a tenant's security deposit to be returned by him or her within a relatively short period of time after vacating the unit, 21 to 30 days the landlord.

In California, it is 21 days. The landlord is required to send the security deposit to the tenant in a required time period, and if the full amount is not sent, the landlord must state in writing to the tenant why the full amount was not sent and attached invoices and other documents showing the reason for the debit.

Your security deposit's return is way overdue from your landlord. You need to write him or her a demand letter for the full deposit with accrued interest payale by a stated date. If not returned, go to your local landlord clinic to discuss the situation and a possible small claims court action.

Good luck.


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