What Do I Need To Know About My Security Deposit -- And When Can I Get It Back?

The security deposit is often the first major exchange of money between a new tenant and a landlord. The HRA suggests you clearly understand the landlord`s terms and conditions regarding the deposit and its return when the time comes. The landlord is required to state these terms and conditions on the lease or on your receipt for the deposit. But the DCHC really kicks in when you move out of an apartment. When you leave, the landlord has 45 days either to return your deposit or notify you ­­ in writing ­­ of any intention to apply the money toward damages in the apartment. If your landlord does this, he then has 30 days from the day he notified you to return whatever money is left over and provide you an itemized statement of the repair costs. The DCHC also authorizes the landlord to make an inspection of the apartment three days before (or after) your tenancy ends, but he must notify you of the inspection at least 10 days before it occurs.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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