If I’m breaking my lease early, can my landlord keep the security deposit if she said she wouldn’t?

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If I’m breaking my lease early, can my landlord keep the security deposit if she said she wouldn’t?

We are moving from our apartment early. In an attempt to preserve our security deposit, we asked the landlord if we would be able to get back our deposit. She sent me a text message saying that it could be prorated. However, now she is refusing that there was an agreement, and will keep the entire security deposit. Is this allowed?

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your landlord sent you a written message stating that your deposit (presumably last month's rent) would be pro-rated because you are ending your lease early, your landlord would seemingly be bound by her agreement on the subject with you.

As to the return of your security deposit, most states in this country have laws requiring the landlord to return one's security deposit within so many days of actual move out (21 to 45 days depending upon the state). If the full amount of the security deposit is not returned within the time period mandated by each state, the landlord is obligated to set forth in writing the debited amounts and include receipts showing the basis for any debit to the former tenant.

For your former landlord to keep the entire secuirty deposit seems to be without any legal or factual basis. If the amount is not returned, your option is filing an action in small claims court against the landlord.

Good luck.


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