What To Do In St Louis When A Landlord Won't Return Your Security Deposit
One of the most common complaints real estate attorneys throughout the St Louis area hear from tenants is that their landlords are wrongfully using their security deposit funds, or have wrongfully refused to return the security deposit.
Security deposit funds are considered to be the tenant’s property, NOT the landlord’s. Although it is true that the security deposit is taken at the beginning of the lease to protect the landlord in case a tenant damages the property, until damage (or sometimes unpaid rent, late fees, etc.) is charged on an itemized list to the tenant, those funds may still be tenant funds.
Residential tenants generally have the right in Missouri to receive their security deposits back within thirty (30) days after termination of the lease, subject to certain items the landlord is permitted to charge to the tenant, such as for damage done to the property or the tenant’s failure to restore the premises (outside of reasonable wear and tear) to the condition it was in at the beginning of the lease.
The Landlord-Tenant Law in Missouri can be found by clicking here (RSMo. Chapter 535). In addition, the Missouri Attorney General has made information available by clicking here, and that page contains a number of handy guides that contain information about the rights of residential tenants.
This can provide you some guidance, but to properly assess your rights and obligations, you should have your own lawyer review the lease with or for you.
If you are dealing with a landlord who has failed to or refuses to return all or a portion of your security deposit that you believe you are entitled to, or who has failed to return it within thirty (30) days of the termination of the lease term, please reach out to us and take advantage of the flat fee pricing we can usually offer in this area.
If you are a residential tenant facing problems with your landlord, we also offer reduced fee consultations of $50 for thirty (30) minutes.
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