What happens if a landlord doesn’t refund a security deposit or send an itemized list of damages to the tenant within 30 days?

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What happens if a landlord doesn’t refund a security deposit or send an itemized list of damages to the tenant within 30 days?

The landlord only sent me an itemized list after I had to send a demand of payment letter more than 30 days after I vacated the property. If we go to court will the landlord still be entitled to any of the deposit? If so, what is the point of the 30 day limit to send an itemized list to the tenant? Also, will I be awarded damages of twice the amount of the deposit plus legal expenses, etc. if the landlord failed to follow the time limit requirement?

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Nevada

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is the law: 

Section 242 of the Nevada statute requires the landlord to refund the security deposit within 30 days after termination of the rental for any reason. Landlord may claim of the security "only such amounts as are reasonably necessary to remedy any default of the tenant."  If any part of the security is claimed "landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized written accounting of the disposition of the security and return any remaining portion of the security to the tenant no later than 30 days after the termination of the tenancy."


Nevada law permits a non-refundable deposit only for cleaning, and the rental agreement must state the non-refundable amount is for cleaning. No other non-refundable purpose is permitted but many rental agreements state other items are "non-refundable", such as pet deposits or for "redecorating." If the Nevada landlord refuses to refund the security Nevada tenant may have to take landlord to small claims court. 

I would consult with ana ttorney in your area on the specifics as to the award of damages and legal fees.  Good luck.


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