Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
Would it be fair to keep it? Did you earn the money? Did you stop advertising and lose one month's rent from someone else? Without a signed contract, what is the basis to keep the money? Do you want to invite the non-tenant to sue you? Can you compromise and get a signed release from each other?
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
This question is combining two separate issues. There is a difference between a security deposit and first and last month's rent. Advance money is not automatically a security deposit, and whether it is depends upon specifically what is stated in the lease. Funds designated as a "security deposit" must be returned within 30 days of termination of the lease. See Colorado Revised Statutes 38-12-103. Failure to comply with the law could expose a Colorado landlord to exemplary damages and attorney fees.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
Generally, yes. Certainly the security deposit needs to be returned, but if no lease was signed and the person never moved in, you probably didn't suffer any loss. He or she could sue you and possibly get attorney's fees for unfair trade practices and his money back if it was only a few days. You may be entitled to some consequential costs if you stopped advertising and had to insert a new ad, but if you simply were advertising on Craigslist, forget it.
Answer Applies to: Maine
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
Yes you have 35 days to return the security deposit or a statement for damages to the apartment that you are deducting cost of repair. If you don't you will be required to pay double and if it goes to court you may pay their attorney's fees.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
A security deposit is to protect you in the event of a default. If you and the tenant never came to terms but the tenant moved in temporarily anyway, then you are entitled to rent for the entire time of occupancy but cannot keep the security left over after you have subtracted rent due and repairs other than normal wear and tear.
Answer Applies to: New York
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
It depends if you were damaged by their breach. If you can lease the apartment to someone else you should return the deposit. If you have to spend money advertising or have it vacant for a month or two you should keep it. Civil Code 1950.5 requires you to return security deposit within 21 days, less the enumerated damages.
Answer Applies to: California