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When do Landlords Have to Give Back Security Deposits?

Philadelphia landlord tenant law is very strict regarding when landlords are required to give back security deposits. You must ensure that you have followed Philadelphia landlord tenant law if you are a landlord as you do not want to face legal issues for not repaying the money that you owe to a tenant. Tenants also need to understand what their rights are when it comes to security deposits under Pennsylvania law.  A security deposit is worth a lot of money and you do not want to be out thousands of dollars when you decide to move because your landlord delays unfairly in returning your deposit or because your landlord tries to keep your deposit when he is not lawfully permitted to do so. 

Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide you with invaluable assistance in making certain that your security deposit is returned in a timely manner. We represent tenants whose landlords have failed to return their deposits on time and we help them to get the money that they are owed by landlords who are behaving in an unscrupulous way.

We also provide assistance to tenants in making certain that they understand what the rules are for moving out of an apartment so they do not face legal problems. Landlords can also seek legal assistance with Philadelphia landlord tenant law and members of our legal team can offer advice on giving back security deposits and making certain you don't face a tenant lawsuit for failure to respect tenant's rights.

When do Landlords Have to Give Back Security Deposits?

According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, "a security deposit is money which actually belongs to the tenant, but is held by the landlord for protection against damages or unpaid rent."

Landlords are required to give back security deposits as long as a tenant has not caused undue damage to a property. Normal wear and tear on an apartment is not cause for keeping a security deposit, and landlords will need to return the money that is owed to a tenant if a tenant has not caused substantial damage to the property in question.

If a tenant has done damage to an apartment when goes beyond normal wear-and-tear, the landlord under these circumstances will need to make certain that he keeps enough money from the security deposit to make necessary repairs which were caused by the problem tenant. The landlord has the right to keep the money that is actually necessary to fix the damage that the tenant has done to the property. The landlord does not necessarily have the right to keep the entire security deposit, unless the full amount of money that would be owed to the tenant is necessary to make fixes to the apartment. If the tenant has done damage which goes beyond what the security deposit will provide coverage for, the landlord has the right to pursue additional legal action against the tenant in order to recover funds for the damage that was done to the property.

If there are questions raised about whether the landlord has complied with Philadelphia landlord tenant law by not returning the security deposit which is owed to the tenant  as a result of damage to the apartment, the landlord will need to demonstrate that damage beyond routine wear-and-tear occurred.

When Should a Security Deposit Be Returned?

A landlord has a limited period of time in which to return a security deposit to a tenant after the tenant has vacated the apartment. In general, the landlord will have 30 days for the return of the security deposit. A landlord should act within this time period to conduct an assessment of the apartment to make sure that there is no undue damage done during the time when the tenant was living in the apartment. If there was damage done which goes beyond normal wear-and-tear, the landlord should provide appropriate notice to the tenant that the landlord intends to make fixes to the property and take the funds for the repairs from the remaining balance on the security deposit.

Getting Help with Philadelphia Landlord Tenant Law

An experienced attorney at Curley & Rothman, LLC should be consulted to provide assistance with all matters related to landlord tenant law. We can not only provide you with guidance on what your rights are as a tenant and what your obligations are as a landlord, but we can also provide assistance in resolving any type of disputes that may arise regarding security deposits or any other aspect of the landlord/tenant relationship.

To find out more about the ways in which we can assist you with questions related to security deposits or with any other landlord/tenant issues, give us a call today at 610-834-8819 or contact us online.

Real EstateScott Rothman