What is a landlord’s responsibility regarding the return of a security deposit?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2012

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What is a landlord’s responsibility regarding the return of a security deposit?

I have a tenant who reported mold damage to the floor in his room 2 months ago. He sent me a picture of the extensive damage and later told me he’d moved out the same day. He says a rug and dresser had been covering it. I’m having it all fixed within the inspector’s deadline. The tenant now wants a refund of his rent since vacating. I think his not noticing/reporting the problem to me sooner is negligent on his part (if he’d cleaned his room, he would’ve noticed a lot sooner) and he should’ve given me reasonable time to rectify the problem before moving out.

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a landlord is required to return to the tenant his or her security deposit in full within 21 to 45 days after move out depending upon the state where the property is located. If the full amount is not returned, the landlord is required to send a list of the expenditures debited from the security deposit with invoices showing such within the same time period.

If the tenant caused the damages then you might have a basis for debiting a portion of the security deposit for repairs. However, if the tenant did not cause the problem as to the water intrusion and simply failed to notice the situation developing I do not see a basis for you holding back his security deposit.

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