Landlords generally demand security deposits to safeguard them from the financial losses that are bound to arise outside the normal scope of wear and tear. This deposit has to be returned to the tenant typically within 30 days after vacating the premise. The failure to do this will usually necessitate drafting a Security Deposit Demand Letter.
This letter basically reminds the landlord of his obligation to refund the security deposit. It is often accompanied by a copy of the lease agreement and displays the bank account details via which the deposit has to be channeled. We take a look at the letter in finer detail hereunder.
Please follow these steps to write this letter well:
Determine whether drafting the letter is necessary
Before you embark on drafting this letter, determine whether that is necessary in the first place. It could be that the window is still open for the landlord to send the deposit. Chances could be that the deposit was already sent but has yet to reach you. Make a call to the landlord to clear the air.
Get to know the laws of your state or jurisdiction
Upon certifying that this letter is necessary, you now have to know the laws of your state or jurisdiction regarding this matter. These laws vary from state to state, county to county and city to city. Educating yourself about these laws in your area will save you from wasting time and effort.
Draft the letter
Get to the core of the matter by drafting the letter now. While drafting this letter, be sure to incorporate the landlord’s name as listed in the lease, the landlord’s address, the original lease date, the relevant state laws, and your reason(s) for demanding the repayment of the security deposit.
Send via Certified Mail
Send the letter via certified to be informed if it has indeed reached the landlord or not. This sending mechanism also guarantees the return of the letter to the sender in the unlikely event that it does not reach the desired recipient. By signing the receipt of this letter, the landlord will, in effect, accept having been notified of the same.
Take further Actions (if need be)
After receiving the confirmation that the letter has indeed reached the landlord, give the landlord ample time to respond. If the landlord does not remit the deposit within a realistic timeframe, you have to take further legal actions. Visiting the small claims court is one of these.
Sunday, May 31, 20xx
Landlord – Oak Ridge Apartments,
12180 Park Avenue,
RE: Security Deposit Demand Letter
I am a former tenant of yours who has since moved to Puget Sound. As per our rental agreement, you were to refund the security deposit within a month to me. It has been 2 months now with nothing forthcoming.
All my attempts to have you do so via phone have yielded no fruit. I have been left with no other option now but to draft this letter to you.
Attached is a copy of our lease agreement. Contained in the agreement is the bank account address where you ought to channel the refund.
Kindly reach me on the phone (253) 593-5243 for any urgent matters.
Templates by State
Purpose of the Security Deposit Demand Letter
This letter serves to notify the landlord of his duty to refund the security deposit. It also spells out the consequences that might befall the landlord in the unlikely event that he fails to honor his obligation within the specified timeframe. In many cases, it comes in as a last resort, if previous attempts to have the landlord act have fallen on deaf ears.
The Writing Tone
Inasmuch as you may be inconvenienced and legitimately mad at the landlord’s non-remittance of the security deposit in time, you should not openly express the anger or show it in the letter. Instead, you should maintain a polite and friendly tone. This is to boost the willingness of the landlord to comply without any severe issues ensuing.