Can I sue my landlord for double the amount of my security deposit if it was not refunded in the legally allotted time period or in full?

UPDATED: Sep 2, 2011

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Can I sue my landlord for double the amount of my security deposit if it was not refunded in the legally allotted time period or in full?

I received the security deposit 2 days late but it was mailed it time. Can I still sue him in small claims court for double the security deposit plus the damages he took out that I do not agree with?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under all laws of each state in this country, a former landlord is required to return the former tenant's security deposit in a stated amount of time. If the full amount is not returned in the required time period after the rental has been vacated, the landlord is required to show a statement debiting the amount made from the security deposit and provide receipts/invoices documenting the charges.

If the landlord mailed the returned security deposit in time but you did not receive it until after the required time period, your landlord complied with the statute for the timely return of the security deposit.

If your landlord debited amounts that you do not agree with and you want that money back, you are entitled to file in small claims court for that amount. As to getting the statutory double penalty for the amounts debited by the landlord, you have to prove that the landlord wrongfully withheld the amounts with no justifiable basis.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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