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When can the landlord keep my security deposit?

  • A landlord may not retain any portion of the security deposit to cover normal wear and tear. A landlord must provide a written description and itemized list of damages to the premises or such right to withhold any portion of the security deposit is forfeited.

 How long does my landlord have to return my security deposit to me after I move out?

  • While the state code allows 45 or 60 days depending on whether the apartment is occupied immediatley after you move out, SLS generally states that your landlord has 60 days from the date your lease ends to either:
    • Return your security deposit, or
    • Provide an itemized list of damages to which your deposit was applied and/or partial refund of any deposit which was not applied.
  • A landlord who fails either to return a security deposit or provide a written description and itemization of deductions on or before the 60th day after the date the tenant surrenders possession, where the tenant has complied with the proper move-out procedures and provided the tenant's forwarding address in writing, is presumed to have acted in bad faith.
  • If your landlord does not provide either of the above to you within 60 days of move out, you are entitled to the amount wrongfully withheld plus one and a half times the amount wrongfully withheld.
  • To receive the amount you are entitled to, you must file suit in Magistrate Court against your landlord.

Do I have to thoroughly clean my apartment when I move out?

  • Regardless of whether the unit was clean when you moved in, it should be clean when you move out. Many landlords will provide a description of how to thoroughly clean the apartment upon move-out in the lease agreement. You should read this document closely as many landlords now require carpet cleaning as a normal part of move out.