University of Missouri Extension

Security Deposits on Housing

From the consumer mailbag: Dear Cynthia: I moved out of an apartment about 6 weeks ago. I thought I left the apartment in decent condition but have not yet received my deposit. How long should it take to get a deposit returned from the landlord?

ANS: At the end of a lease, the landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit with an itemized list of damages for which any portion of the deposit is kept. During that 30 days the landlord must notify the tenant of the time and date when the landlord plans to inspect the dwelling. The landlord may keep all or part of the deposit to pay for actual damages (not for normal wear and tear), unpaid rent, or lost rent due to the tenant moving without adequate notice. Contact your landlord to find out why you haven’t yet received the deposit.

Source: Dollar, P. (1999). Talking dollars makes sense. (UO&E).

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