What should I do if my prior landlord broke the 45 day security deposit law and refuses to returnmy deposit?

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What should I do if my prior landlord broke the 45 day security deposit law and refuses to returnmy deposit?

We moved out of the residence 2 months ago. Landlord did a walk-through, at our request. She said we would get most, if not all, of our deposit. A month later she texted she would be mailing the check out the following week. We didn’t hear from her again. Then today, 60 days after she regained possession, she emailed that we were not receiving any of the deposit due to wood floors needing to be refinished. She had previously said she did them between every tenant, but did not do them between us and the last tenant (almost 5 years). We told her about the law; she sent a nasty email. Should we take her to court?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In most States in this country, there are statutes requiring that the landlord return all security deposits of a tenant who has vacated the rented property less debits for allowable costs of repairs and unpaid rent (if allowed by the lease agreement or statute) with receipts and invoices attached showing the debit charges in a specified period, for example twenty-one days after vacating.

You need to see if thare are any local or State stayutes in the State you live in on this issue.

If the landlord fails to comply with any existing statute on the subject and is found liable for its violation, then penalties in addition to the amount required to be returned can be assessed against the landlord in a legal proceeding.

Perhaps the State you reside in has a small claims court for people like you to attend without the need for a lawyer to solve their disputes against others?

 


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