Can a landlord keep $400 of my deposit when the lease only said “requests” 60 days notice andI gave 48 days?

UPDATED: Nov 8, 2011

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Can a landlord keep $400 of my deposit when the lease only said “requests” 60 days notice andI gave 48 days?

My security deposit was $1200. Of that $1200 my landlord kept $400 because in the lease it said she “requests” 60 days notice. No where did it say “required” or “pay penalty”. I gave her 48 days notice. Also she took $100for cleaning. We couldn’t clean because there was a state of emergency with a power outage. She also said that we didn’t have to worry about cleaning because she was going to have someone come in and do it. She then charged us without giving us the option to clean.

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In order to answer your question regarding this landlord tenant issue, you need to carefully read the written lease between you and the landlord in that it controls the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If the lease states a request for a 60 day move out notice, the language is permissive and not mandatory where a 60 day move out notice was not required to be given. As to the $100 cleaning fee, such cleaning charges are typically absorbed by the landlord as part of the business of renting the unit. Read the lease carefully as to the cleaning charge.

From what you have written, I would write the landlord for the money kept from your security deposit to be delivered by a set date. If not returned by then, your option is small claims court. Good luck.

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