Not Refunding Security Deposit Letter

A letter that informs a previous tenant you will not refund their security deposit is a letter documenting the use of the security deposit for unpaid expenses or necessary repairs. You should write a letter to any previous tenant whose security deposit will not be refunded. This letter should include a list of unpaid expenses and necessary repairs.

Writing this letter protects you as a landlord by documenting the use of the tenant’s security deposit on repairs or other costs. Write this letter within 60 days of the tenant’s move.

When to Use a Security Deposit for Repairs

Tenants pay security deposits when they lease an apartment. These deposits provide you as landlord protection against significant damage done to an apartment. These funds are not used to clean, paint, and prepare the apartment for the next tenant. Use the security deposit only to repair damage above and beyond normal wear and tear.

Examples of this kind of significant damage are holes in walls, broken locks, torn curtains, broken window blinds, and burned carpets. Pet damages such as chewed carpets and doors also fall into this category. You have the right to use the security deposit paid by the tenant to repair such problems.

Other Reasons To Keep the Security Deposit

These are some other valid reasons you can refuse to refund the security deposit:

  • Unpaid rent expense
  • Unpaid utility expense
  • Early lease termination
  • Unusual cleaning costs
  • Removal of left items such as furniture

You can recoup your losses for such costs by keeping the tenant’s security deposit. Your letter should document these expenses.

Important:

If any part of the security deposit is unneeded, refund this amount within your state’s regulated period. This time frame varies between 14 and 60 days. If the security deposit does not cover the repairs needed, write a letter requesting payment of the additional funds.

What to Include in Your Letter

At a minimum, your letter should include the following:

  • Tenant name(s)
  • Property address
  • Apartment number
  • Amount of the security deposit
  • List of repairs and associated costs
  • List of other unpaid expenses
  • The amount remaining after repairs, if any

Warning: Keep Relevant Documents

You have the responsibility to document any repairs. When you write your letter to the tenant, itemize the deductions taken from the security deposit. Keep copies of the invoices and receipts for repairs paid by security deposit funds with a copy of your letter in the tenant file. You could need these documents if a dispute arises about the use of the deposit funds.

Insert a Table to Clarify the Data in Your Letter

Use a table within your letter to create a readable format containing the information about the tenant’s security deposit and its use. Your table needs four columns:

  • Date
  • Description
  • Amount
  • Total

We have included a sample table in the format provided for the letter informing a tenant you will not refund their security deposit.

Not Refunding Security Deposit Letter (Format)

{your name}

{company name}

{address}

{date}

{tenant name}

{tenant address}

Subject: Security Deposit

Dear {tenant name},

This letter serves as notice that the landlord intends to retain the security deposit paid for the apartment located at {apartment address}. The following are deductions from the security deposit funds.

Security Deposit {tenant name}

DateDescriptionAmountTotal
{date}Deposit Paid{amount}{amount}
{date}{expense description}{amount}{amount}
{date}{expense description}{amount}{amount}

You must place any objections to these deductions in writing within 14 days of this letter.

{your signature}

{your name}

Sample Letter Informing the Tenant you will not Refund their Security Deposit

Maggie Hopewell

Ellory Properties

2008 North Harvard Avenue

Jackson, TN 89557

June 30, 2030

Evan Heath

7824 South Winston Avenue

Jackson, TN 89558

Subject: Security Deposit

Dear Mr. Heath,

This letter serves as notice that the landlord intends to retain the security deposit paid for the apartment located at {apartment address}. The following are deductions from the security deposit funds.

Security Deposit Evan Heath

DateDescriptionAmountTotal
05/02/2029Deposit Paid$1000.00$1000.00
06/15/2030Door and Wall Repair$400.00$600.00
06/15/2030Carpet Replacement$600.00$0.00

You must place any objections to these deductions in writing within 14 days of this letter.

Maggie Hopewell

Not Refunding Security Deposit Letter (Word Template)

Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Conclusion

Writing a letter to a previous tenant informing them of the expenses paid with their security deposit protects you by documenting the expenses you paid with the deposit funds. Be sure to include an itemized list detailing these in your letter. Using a table format to describe costs creates an easily understood document. Feel free to use the provided format for your letter.

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