How do I get my security deposit back from my landlord?

UPDATED: Oct 3, 2011

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How do I get my security deposit back from my landlord?

3 months ago I moved from my rental after giving the appropriate notice and completed a walk though with the realtor (liason since landlord lives out of state). Never got deposit or letter of damages. So the middle of last month I went to the magistrate and filed a civil complaint. Court date was set for 2 weeks ago but nothing happened. I was told she was sent certified mail and they can’t tell whether she was served or not served. What do I do next to get my money returned to me?

Asked on October 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As you are probably aware, in every state in this country a landlord is required to return a former tenant's security deposit within so many days of move out (usually 21 to 45 days depending upon the state your reside in).

In your situation, since you have already filed suit but it seems that the return receipt for the out of state service of the lawsuit has yet to be returned to you for filing with the court clerk showing that the summons and complaint have been served, you need to have the trial date continued which the court should have done several weeks ago pending the return of the receipt.

I suggest that you go down to the clerk's office and inquire about the status of your lawsuit as to what is the next hearing date if any. If there is no set hearing date, you need to have the court clerk set a new trial date and you then need to give notice to your former landlord of the new date.

Good luck.

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