Security Deposit Dispute Letter

When you move into a rental unit, you will usually pay a security deposit to your landlord. The landlord is required to return this amount upon the termination of your lease agreement. However, they could decide to deduct a portion or all of it to cover rent arrears or repairs. If you don’t agree with these deductions, you can refute the decision through a dispute letter.

A security deposit dispute letter is an official correspondence written by a tenant. It is designed to show you disagree with the deductions made on your security deposit. When well written, it can help you get back your deposit or serve as evidence in a lawsuit against the landlord.

Below is everything you need to know to draft an effective dispute letter.

A Security Deposit Dispute Letter is a formal correspondence. It should be written in a professional and polite tone. While you might be angry at the landlord for an unfair deduction, it will be unprofessional to sound confronting or rude. To ensure your letter is effective, you must include the following:

  • Your official name, address, and signature
  • The landlord’s name and mailing address
  • The dates of your lease agreement commencement and termination
  • The exact security deposit amount you paid at the beginning of your lease
  • A list of the deductions the landlord made from the amount
  • Reasons why the deductions are inaccurate or unfair
  • A list of attached documents proving your case
  • Your contact information, in case the landlord has questions.
  • When disputing the deductions, make sure you:
  • Highlight the deductions – The landlord will have provided a list of deductions he/she made on your security deposit. Mention these items, so you and the landlord begin on the same page.
  • State your disagreement – Use precise words to state that you disagree with these deductions. Don’t leave room for guessing or misinterpretation.
  • Explain your reasons – Give reasons why you believe the deductions are unfair or inaccurate. You can support your case by providing proof.

Security Deposit Dispute Letter (Format)


{Landlord’s Name}

{Property Name}

{Property Address}

{City, State, Zip Code}

Re: Security Deposit Deduction on {Apartment/House Number}

Dear {Mr./Mrs./Ms. Last Name},

I am writing to dispute the security deposit deduction letter you sent me on {date}. According to your statement, I owe you {amount in dollars} in {rent arrears/repair fees}. This amount has, as a result, been deducted from my security deposit.

I signed the lease agreement for {apartment/house number} on {date} and paid a security deposit of {amount}. I was supposed to receive this amount upon the termination of my lease unless you establish a right to it. During my stay, I have paid all rent on time. I have also recorded no damages on the property.

{Explain why the indicated deductions are unfair}. I have attached the necessary documents to prove this. I am therefore requesting that you send the rest of my security deposit promptly.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, contact me at {contact information}.

Thank you for your time.


{Your Name}

{Your Signature}

Sample Security Deposit Dispute Letter

10 October 2030

Farida Wells

Oakwood Apartments

345 Garden Avenue

Jefferson City, MO 23456

Re: Security Deposit Deduction for Apartment OW23

Dear Mrs. Wells,

I received a security deposit deduction letter from you on 2 October 2030. According to your statement, I owe you $2,300 in rent for September, which you have deducted from my security deposit. I am writing to dispute this claim on my deposit.

I moved into Apartment OW23 on 1 January 2030. I paid my rent on time for the subsequent months until June, when I paid upfront for an extra month. This amount was never refunded, and I never missed a payment until September. Therefore, the extra month rent should cover September.

Please find attached the necessary documents to prove this. I believe you will resolve this matter and reimburse my deposit balance promptly. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

If you have any questions, contact me at


Jennifer Atkins

Security Deposit Dispute Letter (Word Template)

File Format
  • MS Word

Bottom Line

Lease agreements are legal contracts and, thus, regulated by law. You have a right to dispute any deductions to your security deposit you believe are unfair. However, your best chances lie with sending your landlord a security deposit dispute letter rather than engaging in a verbal confrontation.

When drafting your letter, maintain a polite and professional tone. Explain why you believe the deductions are unfair or inaccurate. You can also include evidence such as receipts and photographs to back up your claims.