If a landlord does not return the security deposit or provide a itemized written statement, am I responsible for any repairs?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2011

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If a landlord does not return the security deposit or provide a itemized written statement, am I responsible for any repairs?

I moved out of a house over a month ago and my lease stated that I would receive an itemized written statement within 30 days after I vacated the premises. I did not receive that statement or any other information from the land lord. I e-mailed the landlord on 2 days ago asking about the statement and my security deposit ($850) and was told that I will not be receiving a deposit back and that $1,400 worth of repairs was done. I requested an itemized statement and I was sent a list with the “material and label” total at the bottom. There were no receipts or prices listed next to any of the charges which I feel are not my responsibility anyway. The following are items that I are items that were listed: paint the throughout, Install new overhead light in kitchen, install new dryer vent holes, re-keyed 3 exterior doors, trim brushes and cut grass, clean kitchen and bathroom, replace co/smoke alarm, repair A/C unit. Material and labor cost $ 1,355

Asked on August 31, 2011 Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of each state, when a tenant vacates a unit leaving a security deposit, the landlord is required with a certain number of days to return the full security deposit of the tenant and if not, an itemization of the charges made for any debit with actual receipts showing the debits from the security deposit.

In your situation, the former landlord seems to have been late in his mailing of the debits, but he or she failed to include the required receipts showing what the debits were actually for. Many of the items that you listed (painting, re-keying doors, cleaning, trimming bushes/cutting grass and the like) are normal expenses associated with the renting out of an apartment that are not allowed to be charged to the tenant post move out.

You need to write your former landlord seeking the return of your full security deposit mentioning that he failed to set forth the required receipts and his charges are part of the upkeep of the unit. He is using your security deposit to pay for normal maintenance, not to cover daamges which is its purpose.

If your former landord fails to comply with your request, your option is small claims court.


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