Has your landlord sent you a notice of claim on your security deposit? If so, you may have a limited time to send a response. However, in my experience, a short and sweet response is always best. This is especially true if you haven’t been working directly with an attorney from the beginning of your move or at the beginning of a repair dispute with your landlord.
Simply, because anything you say can–and will–be used against you. Therefore, consider leaving the details and threats or notices of legal action to your attorney.
What is the best response to send?
Depending on your personality, I recommend the following:
I object to you imposing any claims against my security deposit. Therefore, I demand a full return of the security deposit immediately. Please send it to me at: [address].
Please do not impose any claims against my security deposit. Instead, I request a prompt refund of the security deposit. Please send it to me at: [address].
A full return of my security deposit is requested and expected. Please send it to me at: [address].
I disagree with all of your alleged claims. Please send it to me at: [address].
If your communication style is to use the formatting tools like bolding, underlining or italicizing, feel free to use them. However, they are not required.
How should your response be sent?
It is always best to send the response via certified mail, return receipt requested. Why? Because that is proof that you objected to the landlord claiming your security deposit. However, if you cannot do so, consider sending it in the manner that you usually communicate with your landlord (email, text, or via regular U.S. Mail).
When should you send your response?
The best time to send the response is between within 15 days of receiving the landlord’s notice of claim upon the security deposit. However, if you miss this deadline, send it as soon as you can.
When possible, after a landlord makes a claim upon your security deposit, you should object to the claim. However, you should do so cautiously and carefully.