In most jurisdictions, there are laws that state that a LandLord must notify the Tenant where the deposit is being held and if interest is accruing. Also, the Landlord usually must send a letter to the former Tenant within a certain amount of time after the Move-Out or surrender of the premises back to the LandLord. Did you provide the Landlord with a forwarding address? You should take all these facts to a local lawyer. Bring all of your notices received from the Landlord with you in your file.
Law Offices Michael J. Brooks, Esquire
Attorney@Law-Brooks.com “Perspective from the Legal Vantage Point”
Pennsylvania law places a limit on the amount of a security deposit that a landlord may charge. During the first year of a lease the landlord may not require a security deposit of more than two months' rent.
At the beginning of the second year of a lease the landlord may not keep a security deposit equal to more than one month's rent and must return any money over one month's rent which the landlord still has.
After five years the landlord cannot increase a security deposit even though the monthly rent is increased. At the end of the third year the landlord must start giving you the yearly interest that is received from the bank, less a 1 percent fee that the landlord may keep. The landlord does not have to pay interest to you during the first two years of the lease. A landlord may put up a bond instead of depositing security deposits in an escrow account. This bond guarantees that you will get back your deposit with interest at the end of the tenancy.
After taking out damages and unpaid rent, a landlord must send its tenants the list of damages and/or the full or partial security deposit no later than 30 days after the lease ends or when the landlord accepts the tenant's keys to vacate the premises early, whichever occurs first. The law requires landlords to pay twice the amount of the security deposit if they fail to provide consumers with the list of damages along with any refund due in the thirty day period.
Accordingly, within 30 days after a tenant moves out, the landlord must give the tenant a written list of any damages and refund the security deposit less the cost of the repairs on the list. If the landlord fails to do this, you cannot be sued for any damages the landlord claims that you caused. In addition, if the landlord does not give you a written list of any damages you may sue for double the amount of your security deposit.
In order to be able to sue for double your deposit, though, you must give your landlord written notice of your new address, to send the list and refund, when you move out.
Disclaimer: Please note you should not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. Legal advice can only come from a qualified attorney after having had an opportunity to become familiar with all of the fact specific circumstances of a particular legal matter, and then to apply or research the relevant law.