- Carol Highfill
How do You Sue Your Landlord if They Refuse to Return Your Security Deposit.
If a landlord doesn't return a security deposit
1. Write the landlord a letter and try to reach an agreement
If the landlord doesn't return the entire security deposit within 21 days or the tenant doesn't agree with the deductions they can write a letter asking the landlord to return the security deposit. The tenant should keep a copy of the letter for their records.
2. Sue in small claims court (or civil court)
If the tenant and landlord can't agree the tenant can sue the landlord about the security deposit return. They can sue for both
The amount of the deposit
Two times the amount of the security deposit in damages
The judge may give the tenant these additional damages if the landlord retained the deposit in bad faith. A person who's a tenant can only sue for up to $10,000 in small claims court