What are the laws surrounding returning keys to a landlord?

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What are the laws surrounding returning keys to a landlord?

I was a tenant, subletting an apartment. I moved out of the apartment 2 weeks ago. My landlord (who was also my roommate) has not returned my security deposit. I kept the keys for various reasons, such as, landlord was not there at the time of move-out to inspect the room, I also wanted to come back at a later date to clean because I was rushed. I still have the keys and intend to return them when I get my security deposit. I am wondering what are the laws surrounding returning the keys? Are tenants required to surrender the keys upon moving out of their living space?

Asked on February 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, you should turn in your keys when you leave.  Although I can surely understanmd wanting an exit walkthrough, holding them is not a good idea.  Nor is re-entering the apartment to clean.  That should have been done when you left.  I think that you should contact your landlord as soon as possible on this matter.  Good luck.


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