What are my rights to the return of my security deposit?

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What are my rights to the return of my security deposit?

I mutually agreed to end my lease early under the provision that I receive my security deposit and my landlord agreed. She did notify my she had 30 days to give it back to me but at the end of the 30 days she decided she was not going to based on things she were in violation of my contract. Even though she was within her rights under the contract provision to keep the security deposit, because she told me she was going to, does she now have to return since we had a verbal agreement?

Asked on August 8, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to read your written lease with your landlord in that it controls the obligations between you to the landlord and vice versa regarding the unit you were renting unless in violation of state law.

Under the laws of most states, the landlord is required to return the tenant's security deposit  within 21 to 45 days of vacating the unit depending upon each state. If the full amount of a tenant's security deposit is not returned, the landlord still must within the required time period send the balance owed the tenant with an explanation for the debit with cancelled checks, invoices and receipts showing what repairs part or all of the security deposit were used for.

If 30 days have passed from your move out and your landlord has not returned your security deposit, she seems to be in violation ofyour state's laws on its return.

You need to write her a letter setting forth a date it must be returned to you. Keep a copy of the letter for future need. If the security deposit is not returned in the demanded time period, small claims court is your next route.

Good luck.


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