What is the law regarding returning a security deposit?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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What is the law regarding returning a security deposit?

I rented a house with 4 other roommates and my lease ended about a month ago. The landlady was supposed to mail out my security deposit within 30 days but I never got it. After having correspondence with my landlady via e-mail and phone calls, she told me that it was never mailed out, so she would mail it but still nothing. PA state law requires that landlords return security deposit within 30 days of termination of lease however is she still legally required to return it even though I was the only tenant to move out?

Asked on August 4, 2011 Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to read your rental agreement with your former landlord carefully about the terms and conditions as to who placed the security deposit for the former rental and its return.

If the agreement spells out clearly the amount of the security deposit and who actually placed it, then your former landlord is obligated to return the security deposit to you within thirty (30) days if you are named.

If you can show that you placed the security deposit for your former apartment, write your former landlord a letter keeping a copy for future reference with evidence showing that you made the security deposit requesting its return by a certain date. If the security deposit is not returned to you in the requested time, you could bring an action for the security deposit against your former landlord in small claims.

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