The Ways to Return Your Deposit from Landlord. Instructions by the U.S. Attorney General

Nowadays relationship between landlord and renter has a well-defined law basis, which gives the opportunity to keep landlord-tenant association civilized.

However, the problem of getting back the renter’s security often becomes the subject of court procedures. To avoid such complications the U.S. Attorney General would recommend to be careful while signing your lease agreement, study it attentively and make corresponding conclusions. Only this will help you to be entirely sure in getting back your renter’s security.

So, keep control over making a lease agreement. It is to contain special clear guidelines under which the renter can return his deposit. The tenant must study the agreement carefully to be aware of all the requirements necessary to be met in order to refund the security.

Being a renter, try to find out if your landlord really keeps the deposit in escrow. The thing is that the landowner should not keep your security in his personal account.

Some states’ laws require a special inspection to be completed in the residence on lease before inviting renter to reside there. A special checklist is to be made. All the existing damages or other problems are to be noticed down and returned to your landowner. This way all the damages observed after the tenant’s leaving are to be compensated by the renter. This may influence the amount of renter’s deposit, which can be given back partially. In case of breaking of the lease agreement by the renter the landlord has right to withhold a portion of renter’s security or sometimes even may keep the whole deposit.

Renter should also pay his or her rental fee in time to avoid future complications while getting back the deposit. You’d better inform your landlord about your leaving beforehand (thirty days before vacancy). Before leaving the rental residence make it neat, fix all things you find to be repaired. Return all the keys you had got from your landowner, hand them in to be sure he won’t blame you of theft later. If you return not all the keys, your landlord may withdraw a part of your renter’s security. Give your landowner the address for returning a deposit. He must give back your security within the term of 30 days. If the landlord is going to keep a portion of your security, he should have written conclusions of an inspection made during 15 or 30 days (it depends on state) after your leaving.

You may also get into a situation when your landlord doesn’t return your deposit. He must give it back during 30 days after vacation. Otherwise you can do the next things:

- send your landlord a letter, where you should politely explain your requirements.
- demand written report for all money withdrawn by the landowner. 
- in case of negligence you may sue the landlord in a small lawsuits court and ask an attorney for the assistance. Thus you will have to prepare for litigation.