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Getting Your Deposit Back: Know Your Rights

Nothing in life is guaranteed. When you decide to create revenue by renting out a property you do so knowing there are risks. To curtail risks you install precautions like developing a rental agreement and requesting a security deposit.

According to Forbes, a rental agreement or lease “gives the tenant the right to live in a dwelling for a fixed time period — usually 12 months, but it could be any length of time ranging from three months to 24-plus months.” This agreement protects the landlord and tenant in case a situation arises. 

The security deposit, according to thebalancesmb.com, is “a sum of money that you collect from a tenant in addition to their first month’s rent. It is a one-time fee that is refundable.” The security deposit gets used by the landlord in case of any damages caused to the property by the tenant. Although you may request a security deposit receipt it’s not required in some states like Texas.

But what happens if your landlord isn’t willing to a security deposit refund?

Continue reading to learn your rights for getting back your security deposit back in Texas.

Should You Get a Security Deposit Refund

When a tenant gives the landlord a security deposit it’s given with the hope it’ll get returned once you vacate the rental property. Yet there are times when a tenant did not read their lease carefully and missed something important about the security deposit refund.

Small print details may include nonrefundable fees like redecorating costs. The same is true for landlords who neglected to discuss what behavior isn’t tolerated from tenants.

In Texas, the law states a security deposit gets refunded within 30 days after a tenant leaves the rental property. An itemized list and description of repairs taken from the security deposit should go with the balance returned to the tenant, according to thebalancesmb.com.

But if the lease requires a tenant to provide written notice of moving out and the tenant doesn’t comply, the landlord need not refund the security deposit, according to nolo.com. 

What Can You Do To Ensure You Get a Security Deposit Refund?

When searching for a rental property to lease you should make sure you review your rental agreement thoroughly. Ask for time to review it before signing. This will help you to discuss any confusing fine print. It also allows you to learn information on your security deposit.

The information about your security deposit should be clearly stated in the lease. If it is not mentioned you should not sign it and ask for its inclusion in your lease.

Be sure to follow the rules of your lease so that when it comes time to vacate your rental you won’t have to worry about the landlord trying to keep your deposit.

If you have already moved out and your landlord refused to refund your security deposit, within 30 days, ask for his or her reasons.  Have him or her show you in the lease where the issue is mentioned. If the security deposit covered costs towards damages ask for an itemized list of the costs and repairs. 

But if the landlord won’t produce an itemized list, you paid all your rental fees and can’t give a legitimate reason for withholding your security deposit, it may be time to seek legal representation.

Selecting an attorney with experience in collections and consumer protection puts you a step closer to recovering your security deposit. But all cases are different and suing your landlord does not guarantee you’ll receive your deposit refund. Yet with the help of a dedicated and skilled attorney your chances increase.

Take the First Step

Now that you’re better informed on your rights to recovering your security deposit refund it’s time to make your move.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. 

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