Renters often commit a substantial amount of money to a security deposit when they move into a property under the assumption it will be returned to them when they vacate the property. Landlord and tenant laws allow property owners to deduct the cost of repairs for damage caused by the tenant from the deposit. These charges must be itemized and reported to the former tenant within 30 days of the date the tenant moves out of the property. By law, the landlord only has another 15 days to return any money that wasn't used to make repairs or pay past due rent.
While most landlords comply with this law, there are a few who either don't understand their obligations or take advantage of their former tenants. When a former renter doesn't get their security deposit back in a timely manner, a landlord tenant attorney may be able to help. Attorneys who focus on this area of law work with property owners and renters to ensure they each comply with their lease agreement and the law. When a tenant is unable to get their deposit returned by asking for their money or even by hiring a lawyer to request the funds, the court may get involved to resolve the dispute.
Tenants have a right to be treated fairly. To protect themselves from erroneous charges that might deplete their security deposit, savvy tenants walk through their unit with the property manager before they receive the keys. They take photographs of anything that is not in perfect condition, so they have documentation when they move out of the unit. This documentation can be used to their benefit by a Landlord Tenant Attorney as they fight to get the security deposit returned.
Law firms like Starr, Bejgiert, Zink & Rowells fight for tenants' rights. Tenants who are not able to resolve the issue directly with the landlord might be more successful if they hire an attorney. Few people can afford to forfeit a security deposit. An attorney may be able to convince the property owner to return the money without having to sue for the return of an illegally retained deposit. You can also connect with them on Facebook.