As a landlord, it is essential to provide your tenants with a security deposit return letter once they have moved out. This letter serves as the official document regarding the security deposit that the tenant had initially paid to move into the property. It is crucial to include an itemized list of all the funds used from the tenant’s security deposit to cover repairs and damages. In addition, the letter should include a check for any remaining funds.
The security deposit return letter serves as a detailed receipt outlining how the funds from the tenant’s initial security deposit were used. In many states, it is mandatory to itemize all the reasons for withholding the security deposit funds. Even in states where it is not mandatory, it is advisable to provide this information to the tenant to avoid any future disputes.
It is crucial to include as many details as possible in the security deposit return letter. It is best to include the amount of each deduction from the security deposit and an explanation for each deduction if necessary. Additionally, it would be helpful to include the total amount of all the deductions and copies of any necessary cleaning and repair bills.
If the tenant is owed any money after these deductions, a check should be attached to the letter. However, if the tenant did not take good care of the rental property, the security deposit return letter might request more money from the tenant instead of returning the check.
Security Deposit Return Letter Templates
Writing a security deposit return letter does not have to be complicated. The more items you need to deduct from the deposit, the longer it will be. If you are worried about writing the security deposit return letter, then downloading a standard template can make things easier.
Below are templates for a security deposit return letter that are free to download and easy to use, saving you the time to write one from scratch:
What You Can and Cannot Deduct From Security Deposit
As a landlord, it is essential to know what you can and cannot deduct from a tenant’s security deposit when they move out. The rules for deductions are often outlined in the lease, and it is crucial to adhere to them. Generally, the tenant will receive some or all of their security deposit back, depending on how well they have taken care of the property.
If the tenant is past due on rent, you can use some or all of their security deposit to cover this amount. Normal wear and tear is expected, but excessive damage that requires significant repairs can be deducted from the security deposit. Additionally, the tenant may be charged for early termination of the lease, unpaid utilities, and costs associated with removing any property left behind.
It is important to note that tenants cannot be charged for normal wear and tear or damage resulting from everyday living on the property.
Light stains on the carpet, faded wallpaper or paint, scuffed walls, pin and nail holes that are not excessive, and dirty curtains and blinds are all considered normal wear and tear. Similarly, dust, dirt, and grime that are not excessive should not be charged to the tenant.
Even some damage or broken components of the property can fall under the category of normal wear and tear. For instance, warped floors or doors from moisture or age, broken light bulbs, or an old appliance breaking are not expenses that can be charged to the tenant’s security deposit.
What to Include in Security Deposit Letter?
As a landlord, it is essential to provide your tenants with a security deposit return letter once they have moved out. The letter serves as the official document regarding the security deposit that the tenant had initially paid to move into the property.
Here are the essential components that should be included in the letter:
Tenant’s Personal Details
Begin the letter with the tenant’s personal details, such as their name, address, and phone number. Ensure that all the details are accurate and up to date.
Include information on how long the tenant stayed at the property or the duration of the rental period. This information helps the tenant and landlord to keep track of the rental term.
Total Security Deposit
Mention the original amount of the security deposit near the top of the letter. This helps both parties see the original amount of the security deposit to avoid confusion once the deductions are taken out.
Interest on Deposit
Depending on your location, you may need to add interest accrued on the security deposit to the amount being returned to the tenant. Provide clear details on the interest accrued and how it is being handled.
Legitimate Itemized Deductions
You can deduct certain expenses from the security deposit and add them to an itemized list, including an explanation and the amount used for each deduction. Ensure that each expense is legitimate and appropriately explained.
Total Amount of Deductions
Add up the total sum of deductions to show how much of the security deposit is being used. This helps the tenant to understand how the deductions were arrived at.
Security Deposit Paid
Subtract the total sum of deductions from the original security deposit amount to determine the balance being returned to the tenant. If the deductions are higher than the security deposit, request that the tenant pays the outstanding amount.
Include your address and contact information on the letter. This helps the tenant to get in touch with you if they have any questions or need to remit additional payment.
Landlord’s Signature and Date
Sign the letter and include the date it was written. This helps to provide a paper trail of when the letter was sent out and when you expect the money to come back.
Note: You can choose to add receipts of any deductions you make in the security deposit. You can either itemize the deductions and add them to the letter, or include the additional receipts and information for the tenant’s convenience.
Below are samples of the security deposit return letter that you can use as a guide for writing yours:
I am writing to confirm that we have received your security deposit in the amount of [original deposit amount] for the property located at [property address] during the lease period of [lease period].
We would like to inform you that after conducting a thorough inspection of the property, we have found that there are no outstanding balances or damages that need to be deducted from your security deposit. Therefore, we are happy to inform you that we will be returning your full security deposit in the amount of [full deposit amount].
Please allow [number of days] for the refund to be processed and appear in your account. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for your cooperation and for being a responsible tenant during your stay with us. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
[Property Management Company]
Dear [Tenant’s Name],
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to discuss the return of your security deposit for the rental property located at [Property Address], where you resided during the period of [Lease Start Date] to [Lease End Date].
As a responsible landlord, it is my obligation to provide you with an itemized list of any deductions made from your security deposit. After a thorough inspection of the property, I have deducted [Deduction Amount] from the original deposit of [Original Deposit Amount] to cover the costs of the following expenses:
The remaining balance of your security deposit is [Remaining Balance], which I have enclosed in the form of a check with this letter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries or concerns.
I would like to express my gratitude for your tenancy and cooperation during your stay at the property, and I wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Every state has different rules about when the security deposit needs to be returned, with some requiring it done within 10 to 14 days and some giving you a maximum of 60 days to complete. You should aim to get the security deposit back to the tenant as soon as possible to avoid issues with local statutes and complaints from your tenant about how long it is taking to get their security deposit back. Sometimes it is possible to write a check to the tenant after the final walk-through if you can estimate the costs of cleaning and repairs at that time.
|AL – 60 days (§ 35-9A-201)|
|AK – 14 days (§ 34.03.070)|
|AZ – 14 days (§ 33-1321)|
|AR – 60 days (§ 18-16-305)|
|CA – 21 days (§ 1950.5(g)(1))|
|CO – 1 month (§ 38-12-103)|
|CT – 15 days (§ 47a-21)|
|DE – 20 days (Title 25 § 5514)|
|FL – 15 days (83.49(3)(a))|
|GA – 30 days (§ 44-7-34)|
|HI – 14 days (§ 521-44)|
|ID – 21 days (§ 6-321)|
|IL – 30 days (765 ILCS 710/1)|
|IN – 45 days (§ 32-31-3-12)|
|IA – 30 days (§ 562A.12(3)(a))|
|KS – 30 days (§ 58-2550(b))|
|KY – 60 days (§ 383.580)|
|LA – 1 month (§ 9:3251)|
|ME – 21 or 30 days (§ 6033)|
|MD – 45 days (§ 8–203)|
|MA – 30 days (186, § 15B)|
|MI – 30 days (§ 554.609)|
|MN – 3 weeks (§ 504B.178)|
|MS – 45 days (§ 89-8-21)|
|MO – 30 days (§ 535.300)|
|MT – 10 days (§ 70-25-202)|
|NE – 14 days (§ 76-1416)|
|NV – 30 days (NRS 118A.242)|
|NH – 30 days (RSA 540-A:7)|
|NJ – 30 days (§ 46:8-21.1)|
|NM – 30 days ((§ 47-8-18)|
|NY – 14 days (§ 7-108(1-a)(e))|
|NC – 30 days (§ 42-52)|
|ND – 30 days (§ 47-16-07.1)|
|OH – 30 days (§ 5321.16)|
|OK – 45 days (§ 41-115)|
|OR – 31 days (§ 90.300)|
|PA – 30 days (§ 250.512)|
|RI – 20 days (§ 34-18-19)|
|SC – 30 days (§ 27-40-410)|
|SD – 2 weeks (§ 43-32-24)|
|TN – 30 days (§ 66-28-301)|
|TX – 30 days (§ 92.103)|
|UT – 30 days (§ 57-17-3)|
|VT – 14 days (§ 4461)|
|VA – 45 days (§ 55.1-1226)|
|WA – 21 days (§ 59.18.280)|
|WV – 60 or 45 days (§ 37-6A-1(7))|
|WI – 21 days (§ 134.06)|
|WY – 30 or 15 days (§ 1-21-1208(A))|
A security deposit return letter is the final thing you need to do to work with your tenant. It helps them take back the security deposit they gave you from the beginning and helps keep you cover any of the excessive damage or unpaid rent that they left behind. There are different rules for when to return the security deposit, and it can depend on whether the tenant is owed the money or owes you more money for the damage they caused. Take a look at the security deposit refund letter writing tips explained above to help you get this done.