he has a reputation for not refunding tenants deposits
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Go see the landlord lawyer about your rights in regard to getting the security deposit back. Let others in your complex know about it only once you are about to move. If this is a problem in the community, take some of the lawyer's cards and distribute them once you are about to move and let others know about their rights. Good luck!
Good renters are difficult to find. I would find it difficult to believe that a landlord would incur the costs of eviction on a tenant who is otherwise ideal. If your objective in consulting with an attorney is to ensure you get your security deposit returned, you would not have to pursue that action until after you have surrendered possession. As you approach your move date, make sure you maintain the property and document your experiences. If you find that the landlord is making a paper trail to ultimately deny you your security deposit, then you may want to seek a lawyer's advice on how to maintain your best position as you approach your move date.
Real Estate Attorney
Consulting with a lawyer about your rights is not a violation of your lease and does not give the landlord a justification to evict you. However, consulting with a lawyer will not, by itself, stop an eviction proceedng that is already underway.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.