Court awards double damages although Tenant did not provide written notice of forwarding address

Tenant moved out of Landlord’s Apartment building and into another Apartment building owned by Landlord’s sister. Tenant failed to provide written notice of his forwarding address for the return of the security deposit, but the trial court found that the Landlord had actual knowledge of the forwarding address. Landlord did not return Tenant’s security deposit within the 30 day time period.

The Eighth District Court of Appeals in Cuyahoga County stated that written notice is not necessary to recover double damages and attorneys fees when it is clear that the Landlord had actual knowledge of the Tenant’s forwarding address. The appeals court upheld the trial court’s award of double damages. The trouble of course for most tenants is how to prove such actual knowledge on the part of the landlord.

Prescott v. Makowski (1983), 9 Ohio App.3d 155