Can I wait to send a demand letter?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2012

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Can I wait to send a demand letter?

My landlord hasn’t sent my security deposit or anything and his 30 days are almost up. Can I wait to see if my landlord will send an itemized list of deductions after the 30 days, and if I am unhappy with the list then send a demand letter and still be in the right? For example, if I receive a list after 45 days, am unhappy with it, and then send a list demanding my full security deposit because the list was sent after 30 days, would I be able to win in court? I think I will see a lawyer if it comes to that, even though it would be settled in small claims court.

Asked on August 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I would send it when the 30 days has expired.  Under the law in your state if the landlord has wrongfully withheld all or part of a deposit, the tenant may sue to recover up to twice the amount wrongfully withheld.  So really why wait?  Good luck.

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