If you have recently moved out of a rental property and have not received your security deposit back, you may want to consider writing a demand letter to your landlord. A demand letter is a formal letter that demands a specific action or remedy. In this case, your demand is for your landlord to return your security deposit. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when writing a demand letter.
Type Your Letter
Your letter should be typed, rather than handwritten. A typed letter looks more professional and is easier to read.
Include the Formal Legal Name for the Business the Landlord is Operating Under
Make sure to include the formal legal name for the business the landlord is operating under. This information can usually be found in your lease agreement or on your rent receipts.
Be Polite and Professional
Even if you are frustrated and angry that your security deposit has not been returned, it is important to be polite and professional in your letter. Avoid using any language that is aggressive or threatening.
Gather Your Facts
When gathering your facts, make sure to include important details such as the address of your rental property and the dates you rented from. This information will help your landlord locate your file and identify your account. Additionally, make note of the amount you paid for a security deposit, as this is a key factor in your request for a return of funds.
It is also important to include why you believe you are entitled to a return of a portion or all of your deposit. For example, if you left the property in good condition and fulfilled all of your obligations under the lease agreement, you have a strong case for a full return of your deposit. On the other hand, if there were damages to the property or outstanding rent owed, you may be entitled to a partial return. Having this information organized and clearly stated in your demand letter will help you make a strong case for the return of your security deposit.
Make a Clear Demand
Make sure your demand is clear and specific. For example, state that you are demanding the return of your security deposit in full and that landlord must write you a check sent to your address listed on the demand letter.
Set a Deadline
It is important to set a deadline for your landlord to respond. This deadline should be reasonable, but also firm. Give your landlord a specific date by which you expect a response.
Emphasize Legal Action
In your letter, you should emphasize that legal action will be taken if your security deposit is not returned. This can include small claims court or a complaint to the state’s attorney general.
Keep It Concise
Your letter should be concise and to the point. Avoid including unnecessary information or details.
Make sure to keep a copy of your letter for your records. If you need to take the landlord to court, you will want to show the judge that you made a formal demand for payment of your security deposit before filing your case in court.
Send Via Certified Mail
Finally, make sure to send your letter via certified mail. This will provide proof of delivery and ensure that your landlord has received your demand letter.
In conclusion, writing a demand letter to your landlord can be an effective way to get your security deposit back. By following these best practices, you can increase your chances of success and protect your rights as a tenant.