If you disagree with a landlord is there anything a tenant can do to have the security deposit returned?

Yes, if the tenant can speak with their landlord and in the lease agreement each party is required to deal with one another fairly and in good faith. The landlord must include a list of deductions taken from the total deposit. A landlord can only keep the full deposit if the damages and cleaning costs exceed the reasonable wear and tear. A landlord is not allowed to keep the deposit for wear and tear repairs or for problems that existed before the tenant moved in. If the landlord fails to return the security deposit within 21 days, the tenant should send a letter to the landlord explaining why they should have a larger refund. If a landlord and tenant disagree on the damages included in the itemized list and cannot come to a resolution the tenant may sue the landlord in small claims court as long as the amount is less than $10,000.

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