Tip #194: Hold, or Fold?
Most states provide the landlord with some time — usually somewhere between 15 and 60 days — after a tenant moves out to do an accounting for the security deposit.
Yet, some landlords feel inclined to return the deposit right after the tenant moves out. Occasionally, a landlord will even promise a quicker turnaround as an incentive for a new tenant.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover damage after the final walk-thru, especially if the tenant knew about the problem and tried to conceal it. For instance, one landlord shared how a tenant had asked to install a shade over a custom window because the room was too sunny in the mornings — or so the tenant said. The shade was down during the final inspection. It wasn’t until the landlord happened to be out back that he discovered the window was cracked.
Security deposit laws deal a good hand to landlords by offering a little bit of time to find any damage a tenant may have left behind. Don’t fold too soon — or you could lose out.
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