How to get back a security deposit?

UPDATED: Oct 17, 2011

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How to get back a security deposit?

My lease expired 6 months ago but my landlord let us stay. 4 1/2 months ago she sent a vacate premises letter to move out the next month however when the time came we let the landlord know that we were staying and she accepted the rent for that month but told us that we had to be out the following month. We surrendered the premises on the date specified and did a informal walk-through. I tried contacting the landlord several times no response with no response until about a week ago. She stated that she would send a status of deposit letter. 2 days ago I received the letter and she is now stating that we are not getting our deposit back because we violated the lease for having a pet, etc.

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In every state in this country, a landlord is required to return his or her tenant's security deposit within a certai period of time of move out (usually within 21 to 45 days). If the full amount of the security deposit is not returned in this time period the landlord still must send a portion of the security deposit back with a letter of explanantion why the full amount is not being returned with receipts or invoices showing what the security deposit was used for.

This accounting must also be done in a required time period per each state's laws.

If your landlord is refusing to return the security deposit, you need to write her demanding payment by a certain date. If that does not happen, your option is to file a small claims court action for it. Keep a copy of your letter for future need.

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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