IELTS writing SAMPLE

Sample Letter to Return the Security Deposit

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Landlords typically collect a security deposit when a tenant moves in. But what should landlords do with that money when a tenant moves out? Hopefully, all went well and you’ll return the security deposit when the lease is up. In some cases, however, you may keep a portion or all of the security deposit to cover damages or unpaid rent.

See below for some sample security deposit letters you can use!

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Read more: Deposit refund letter

A security deposit is a sum of money—usually equal to one month’s rent—that a tenant gives to a landlord before moving in. Tenants get their security deposit back when they move out … if they return the rental in the same condition as when they moved in (minus normal wear and tear).

Returning a security deposit is part of your duties as a landlord. That’s the mindset you should have, as the security deposit is really the tenant’s money that you’re merely holding during the tenancy.

But landlords can choose not to return a security deposit for the following reasons:

  • To repair damage the tenant (or their guests) caused
  • For cleaning (This applies to getting the rental back to the same condition as it was in at move-in. This does not apply to routine cleaning to ready the place for the next tenant.)
  • To cover any unpaid rent

Pro tip: Both landlords and tenants should take photos or video of the rental before move-in and at move-out. This provides proof of the condition of the unit before and after a tenant’s stay.

Why a Letter to Return a Security Deposit?

If you will not be refunding any or all the security deposit, you need to send a letter to your tenant’s new address explaining why, along with any remaining security deposit money. If you will be returning the entire security deposit, you can just send the money. But you can accompany the security deposit returned with a letter, as well.

Pro tip: Send the security deposit and/or letter certified mail. That way, you’ll have proof you did what you were supposed to do.

If your tenant didn’t leave a forwarding address, contact them to find out where to send the money and/or letter.

What if You Have No Forwarding Address?

You might not be able to get a forwarding address, maybe because your tenant knows they won’t be getting back a security deposit. You still need to send a letter explaining the reason.

If you have no forwarding address, mail the letter to the tenant’s last known address, which is your rental property. If you don’t do things by the book, your tenant could sue you for not following the security deposit rules for your state.

Sample Letter One — Letter to Return the Security Deposit

Learn More: A Letter to My Best Friend

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[Date]

[Tenant’s name]

[Tenant’s new address]

Re: Return of security deposit

Dear [tenant’s name],

This letter concerns your security deposit in the amount of [amount of the total deposit] for the premises located at [address of the property] during your lease period of [start and end dates].

I’m including your entire security deposit along with this letter.

It was a pleasure having you as a tenant. I wish you the best of luck for the future.

Learn More: HOME

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Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your signature]

Note: Attach a check for the total amount of the security deposit.

Pro tip: If you treat your tenants fairly, they may rent from you again.

Sample Letter Two — Letter of Security Deposit Partial Refund

Learn More: A Letter to My Best Friend

Xem Thêm : IELTS Band 9 sample essay

[Date]

[Tenant’s name]

[Tenant’s address]

Re: Return of security deposit

Dear [tenant’s name],

This letter concerns your security deposit in the amount of [amount of the total deposit] for the premises located at [address of the property] during your lease period of [start and end dates].

I am deducting X from the security deposit to cover the following:

[Include an itemized list with the amount(s) you are withholding. (Example: Dented garage door—$130.) Other examples include past rent, late fees (if they were specified in the lease), cleaning fee, carpet cleaning or replacement, painting, new window coverings, or anything else that was damaged by the tenant or their guest.]

The remaining balance of the security deposit is X. I am returning that amount along with this letter.

I wish you the best of luck for the future.

Learn More: HOME

Xem Thêm : IELTS Writing Task 2: Music Essay (Band 9)

Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your signature]

Note: Attach a check for the amount of the security deposit minus the money you’re keeping for damages. Also include receipts, invoices, or bills for work done.

Sample Letter Three — Not Refunding the Security Deposit Letter

Learn More: A Letter to My Best Friend

Xem Thêm : IELTS Band 9 sample essay

[Date]

[Tenant’s name]

[Tenant’s address]

Re: Return of security deposit

Dear [tenant’s name],

This letter concerns your security deposit in the amount of [amount of the total deposit] for the premises located at [address of the property] during your lease period of [start and end dates].

I will not be returning your security deposit for the premises located at [address of the property]. I am keeping the security deposit to cover the following:

[Include an itemized list with the amount(s) you are withholding. (Example: Failure to pay last months’ rent—$X.) Other examples include late fees (if they were specified in the lease), cleaning fee, carpet cleaning or replacement, painting, new window coverings, or anything else that was damaged by the tenant or their guest.]

The total cost to cover these damages is X.

I wish you the best of luck for the future.

Learn More: HOME

Xem Thêm : IELTS Writing Task 2: Music Essay (Band 9)

Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your signature]

Note: To withhold all the security deposit, the amount you’re withholding must be the same as the security deposit or more. Include receipts, invoices, or bills for work done.

Sample Letter Four — Not Refunding Security Deposit with Request for Payment Letter

Learn More: A Letter to My Best Friend

Xem Thêm : IELTS Band 9 sample essay

[Date]

[Tenant’s name]

[Tenant’s address]

Re: Return of security deposit

Dear [tenant’s name],

This letter concerns your security deposit in the amount of [amount of the total deposit] for the premises located at [address of the property] during your lease period of [start and end dates].

I will not be returning your security deposit for the premises located at [address of the property]. I am keeping the security deposit to cover the following:

[Include an itemized list with the amount(s) you are withholding. (Example: Failure to pay last month’s rent—$X, Dented garage door—$130, etc.) Other examples include late fees (if they were specified in the lease), cleaning fee, carpet cleaning or replacement, painting, new window coverings, or anything else that was damaged by the tenant or their guest.]

The total cost to cover these damages is X.

Because the cost of damages exceeds the security deposit, you owe me X, which represents total damages minus the security deposit, payable immediately.

Please remit your balance to:

[Your name and address]

Learn More: HOME

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Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your signature]

Pro tip: If you don’t receive the money your tenant owes you in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll need to decide whether you will take them to small claims court.

The Bottom Line on Security Deposits

When it comes to the security deposit, you need to do everything by the book.

If you don’t return the security deposit within the allotted time for your state, or if you hold all or part of the security deposit without a letter, an itemized list, and receipts, your tenant could sue you. Depending on your location, if you did not follow the law and the tenant wins in court, you might need to pay double or even treble damages.

So handle the security deposit the right way.

Published September 25, 2019

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