Could legal action be taken against a landlord if the deposit has been witheld for more than one month? 9 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I've been waiting for my security deposit to be returned to me ever since I broke the lease with my apartment complex in April. It is now August and I call them all the time with the response that the check will be mailed and I should receive it soon. I am becoming extremely irritated with them. What can I do?

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Advanced Litigation Services
Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
yes, you can sue them in snail claims court for the return of your deposit plus penalty.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/10/2011
Frances R. Johnson
Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
If the lease indicates the deposit can be returned within 60 days of termination of the lease (surrendering the apartment and the landlord accepting the surrender), the landlord has up to 60 days from the end of the lease to return the deposit. If the landlord does not timely return the deposit, you can seek treble (multiple) damages, as well as reasonable attorney fees (if you hire an attorney) and costs. There are requirements to be met before you can file a lawsuit, so if you decide to do that, make sure you contact an attorney first to make sure you complete what's required.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/8/2013
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
If you correctly supplied your forwarding address, then the Landlord must return whatever deposit amount you are entitled to within 30 days or else you are entitled to Double Damages. A tenant may not be entitled to any refund if the Tenant broke/breached the lease. Jeff Pollock
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 8/9/2011
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
In Alabama, landlord tenant issues regarding prepaid rent or security deposits are regulated under Alabama Code 35-9A-201. under subsection (b) it states: "(b) Upon termination of the tenancy, money held by the landlord as security may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with Section 35-9A-301 all as itemized by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant together with the amount due 35 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession." under subsection (c) it states: "(c) If the landlord does not refund the entire deposit, the landlord, within the 35-day period, shall provide the tenant an itemized list of amounts withheld." and subsection (f) states: "(f) If the landlord fails to mail a timely refund or accounting within the 35-day period, the landlord shall pay the tenant double the amount of the tenant's original deposit" From the fact pattern provided the landlord would be in violation of Alabama law and in addition to subsection (f) would be responsible for plaintiff's attorney's fees and court costs.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/9/2011
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
It is a violation of Civil Code 1950.5 not to return the security deposit within 21 days of the tenant's leaving the apartment. Of course, they can keep the security deposit to cover rent due under the broken lease and to pay for cleaning. However, they have to give you an invoice showing the use of the security deposit. Your remedy is to sue landlord in small claims court for double the amount of the deposit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You can take them to small claims court depending, of course, on the size of your security.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    If you broke the lease and the landlord was not able to get a new renter right away, the landlord can apply your deposit to those missed months of rent.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/9/2011
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