How Long Does a Landlord Have to Return the Security Deposit of the Tenant?

Posted on August 30th, 2008 in Uncategorized by Eric

Q.  In Ohio, how long does the landlord have to return the security deposit of the tenant?

A.  In Ohio, if the landlord receives written or actual notice of the tenant’s security deposit forwarding address, the landlord must return the security deposit or the balance plus an itemized list of reasons in writing as to why the tenant is not getting the deposit back.  This must be accomplished within 30 days of the receipt of the written notice and the end of the tenancy.

If the tenant can show that any portion of the security deposit was wrongfully withheld, then the tenant is entitled to recover double damages and attorneys fees under Ohio Revised Code Section 5321.16.

5 Responses to 'How Long Does a Landlord Have to Return the Security Deposit of the Tenant?'

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  1. Barb said,

    on April 6th, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Can a landlord who failed to make a rental inspection post lease until after new tenants have signed the lease and moved in withhold part of the previous renters security deposit for a clogged sink?

  2. Wanda said,

    on October 26th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    The landlord has not taken care of basics (working heating system) and multiple other issues. What steps should be taken to minimize problems when vacating before the lease is up?

  3. ohiolandlordtenant said,

    on January 3rd, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Generally, you need to give the landlord written notice of the problems and a reasonable amount of time to fix them (30 days or less depending on the problem). If after that time passes, you can escrow your rent with the clerk of courts.

  4. ohiolandlordtenant said,

    on January 4th, 2013 at 2:46 am

    If the landlord has reason to believe the previous tenants were at fault then he/she can withhold a portion of the security deposit related to fixing the clogged sink. The tenants could argue that the withholding was too much or not justified.

  5. Erica said,

    on May 1st, 2014 at 6:22 am

    My landlord has withheld a portion of my security deposit that I do not feel is legitimate. He withheld part for saying the tub was not clean but I have a picture on move out day that it was perfectly clean. He also says that another area was not clean but it was an area that he dirtied when I let him show the place to potential new tenants and did not feel that I should have to clean up after him. The landlord also wrote a note on my lease and signed it saying that upon first walk through everything appeared to be in great condition. What should I do?

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