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Help! Can You Do Anything If The Landlord Is Trying To Keep Your Security Deposit?

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The security deposit for your property is just that, a deposit to cover any damages occurred during the time you rented the property from the landlord. It cannot be used to cover the last month's rent unless the landlord is in agreement. If the landlord refuses to return the deposit, you need to pursue the issue.

Does The Tenant Have To Pay For Normal Wear and Tear?

Your security deposit cannot be withheld for what is considered normal wear and tear on items in the dwelling including walls that need repainting or have chipped spots, or wooden floor finishes. The longer you live in a home, the more normal damages can occur. If you rented the same home for three years, for example, the landlord cannot expect it to look exactly the same way it did when you first moved in.

If someone vandalizes the property, the landlord is responsible for the damages. However, the landlord must be contacted immediately and a police report should be filed as documentation of vandalized issues. These issues need to be discussed before you move out of the home. The day you move out of the home should not be the day your landlord finds out someone spray painted your garage door two years ago.

What Items Aren't Normal Wear and Tear?

If damages in the dwelling are not related to normal wear and tear, the tenant will be held responsible for the replacement. Some of these items include holes in the wall, broken windows, or leaving trash behind on the property. The tenant can also be charged if he/she does not clean the home after moving out.

How Long Should You Wait For The Landlord To Send The Security Deposit?

After thirty days, the tenant can file a claim in small claims court. According to the Rent Security Deposit Act, the tenant's security deposit can be doubled if the deposit wasn't returned at all or if fees were wrongfully deducted from the total returned to the tenant. When making the initial claim, you must be sure to indicate the double amount.

Just as the name suggests, the security deposit is intended to provide the landlord with a security blanket to protect his/her property. This does not, however, mean the landlord can just decide not to give the money back to you once the rental agreement is over. Your landlord must have a legal reason for keeping the security deposit. Otherwise, you can sue to have it returned to you.  

For more information, contact professionals like Blake Law Office.