What can I do if my landlord won’t return my deposit?

by John D. Treleven, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

Your landlord is required to return your security deposit to you within 30 days of the termination of the rental agreement.  The date courts generally use is when you return the keys to your landlord as this constitutes “delivery of possession.”  When you return your keys, you should also provide a forwarding address where the security deposit can be sent (this is required to trigger the timeframes for return of the deposit).  Once again, this can be done via email.

If your landlord does not return your deposit, you should receive an itemization of deductions for damages and/or rent balances.  If you do not receive your deposit or an itemization, you have a cause of action against your landlord and you should consult an attorney.  You may also challenge any of the damages listed in an itemization by your landlord through the courts.

In Ohio, Tenants can seek “double damages” for any wrongfully withheld security deposits plus attorney fees.  Contact an attorney for a more detailed explanation as to your rights.

Click here to find an attorney in this area of law.

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