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Security deposits are one issue that is often disputed when a tenant vacates a property. In order to prevent disputes, it’s important that both the tenant and landlord know their local rules when it comes to security deposits.

Every state has its own set of rules but most of them are fairly similar. If you have any questions or need some exact wording then you can check with your local fair housing authority. One rule that is pretty generic and universal is that the tenant is not responsible for normal wear and tear but they are responsible for any damage caused or negligence that resulted in damage to the property.

Landlords are required to return security deposit balances within a month of the tenants vacating. If the landlord is not returning the entire amount for any reason they must send an itemized statement along with the check explaining where the balance is being applied.? If the landlord doesn’t return the security deposit within the specified time, some states or cities require the landlord to pay their previous tenant interest. If the tenant feels that the landlord has held their deposit for too long or is withholding too much they can take the landlord to small claims court. Likewise, if the landlord feels that the tenant has done so much damage that the security deposit won’t cover it, they will have to go to small claims court to try and recoup their additional losses.