Over ten thousand renters have used SixFifty’s free Hello Landlord tools to write letters to their landlords. These letters have helped them avoid eviction, declare a COVID-related hardship, and request repairs to their apartment.

Now Hello Landlord can help with two more problems—requesting a refund for your deposit, and asking for a copy of your lease.

Some states limit how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit, but usually it’s one month’s rent. With average rents in the US at an all-time high of nearly $2,000, it’s more important than ever to get a deposit refund. Moving is expensive. When you move out of your old place, you’ll need money to move into your new apartment or home. Getting back as much of your deposit as possible can mean the difference between a good moving experience and a very stressful one.

SixFifty’s newest Hello Landlord tool asks you a few questions about your apartment, your landlord, and your lease. Then we use your answers to generate the kind of letter that a lawyer would write.

Landlord/Tenant laws in most states require landlords to refund tenants who have paid a deposit and moved out, as long as they’ve met certain requirements. These requirements are outlined in the rental lease agreement, and typically include things like:

  • Your lease has ended
  • You have moved out
  • You gave your landlord time to inspect the apartment
  • The inspection indicated that you met your lease requirements for a refund

If your landlord doesn’t believe you’ve met the requirements for a deposit refund, they’re required to send a letter explaining why not.

Laws vary from state to state, but landlords need to send their renters a deposit refund, or an explanation of why they’re not refunding it, within a certain amount of time. Those timelines can be found here.

While laws can be different from one state to another, it’s likely that your landlord considered the law in your state when they created your lease agreement. The amount of the refund, what’s required to receive it, and when you should expect it, should all be included in your lease. That’s why your lease is the most important document to look at when determining whether you’re entitled to a deposit refund, and how much that refund should be. If you don’t have your lease agreement, SixFifty’s new Hello Landlord letter can also help you request a copy from your landlord.

If you believe that your lease doesn’t comply with the law, notify the Department of Housing and Urban Development or your State’s Housing Agency or Attorney General.

Learn more and get started today at HelloLandlord.org!