How long does the owner have to give me back my deposit?

When should your landlord return your security deposit? At the time of handing over the keys? After ? What maximum deadline must he respect? Don't panic, Studapart answers all your questions.


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How long does the owner have to give me back my deposit?


Security deposit: everything you need to know


What is the security deposit?


The security deposit is a sum of money to be given to your landlord when signing the rental agreement. The goal: to provide him with a minimum of security. It is normal for landlords to be a little suspicious of the person to whom they are going to rent their accommodation. They want to find it in good condition, and the security deposit is an insurance, in case of damage, to be able to reimburse part of it. The security deposit is not in theory compulsory, but it will be systematically requested by the owner-lessor.


Do you confuse the terms “security deposit” and “surety”? It's normal ! The official term is “security deposit” but in common parlance, it is often referred to as “surety”. Be careful, however, because “surety” also designates the person who guarantees the payment of the rent.


What does the security deposit cover?


The security deposit is there to cover the lessor in the event of damage or shortcomings on the part of the lessee, for example:


  • Unpaid rent or charges, or a significant delay in payment.
  • Rental repairs in the event of damage to housing and furniture in the case of a furnished rental.
  • Lack of maintenance of furniture or equipment.


In fact, everything will depend on the differences observed between the check-in inventory of fixtures and the check-out inventory of fixtures. The time spent in the accommodation is of course taken into account: if you have stayed in the same apartment for several years, it is normal to notice natural wear and tear. But this is to be distinguished from damage or lack of maintenance.


How much is the security deposit?


Since March 27, 2014, the amount of the security deposit has been regulated to avoid certain abuses. It differs depending on the type of rental.


  • For an empty rental, the amount is equivalent to a maximum of one month's rent excluding charges.
  • For a furnished rental, the amount is equivalent to a maximum of two months' rent excluding charges.


Does this difference surprise you? There is a logical explanation: the landlord will potentially have more repairs to do in a furnished rental, or they will have to buy back some furniture that could be damaged too much. Note: the amount of the security deposit, which must appear on your rental agreement, cannot under any circumstances be changed during the term of the rental agreement.


At Studapart, we know that it is not necessarily easy for tenants to advance two months' rent. This is why we recommend that landlords only ask for one month's rent as a security deposit. :)


How soon does your landlord have to give you back the deposit?


How do I know if I will get my deposit back in full?


What determines whether the owner will return the deposit to you, and how much of the deposit he will return to you, is the difference between the inventory on entry and the inventory on exit. If the condition of the accommodation is not the same, then the landlord is entitled to keep some or all of the money. But no stress, if you haven't broken anything, your landlord must give you back the deposit! And if you have accidentally damaged certain equipment, informing your landlord upstream and cultivating a good relationship with him will always put you in a better position when the latter will have to decide how much to retain on the deposit.

In all cases, it is essential to carry out the entry and exit inventory as rigorously as possible, and to come to an agreement with your lessor on the condition. equipment and furniture at that time.



Advice on exit inventory 
It is important to present your apartment - and yourself - in the best light during the check-out. In the event of damage, the owner could be more or less lenient depending on your attitude and the condition of the rest of the apartment. We therefore recommend that you do a spring cleaning before D-Day and do not forget the basic rules of politeness!


What are the deadlines for returning the security deposit?


As with its amount, the time limit for returning the security deposit is limited, and is not left to the discretion of the owner! Our advice: ask, if possible, to recover your security deposit on the day the keys are handed over. This will avoid any oversight on the part of your landlord, and potential hassle. Of course, this option is only valid if no degradation was noted at the time of the exit inventory!

Otherwise, here are the mandatory return periods for the security deposit:


  • In the event that no degradation has been observed, your lessor has a maximum of one month to return the deposit to you by check, bank transfer or through an online money transfer platform; usually through the same channel you paid the security deposit to them.
  • In the event that damage has been noted during the inventory of fixtures, the maximum return period is extended to two months to leave time for the owner-lessor to estimate the cost of repairs, make an estimate... in short, calculate what he will withhold from the security deposit. Your landlord must provide you with proof of the amount he wishes to retain, such as a quote for example.


Good to know
For any damage deducted from your security deposit, the findings must be made DURING the check-out, and especially not AFTER! Your landlord is not allowed to keep any money in your security deposit for damage that was not noted during the inventory.


What if my landlord does not return my deposit?


Before you panic if your landlord hasn't returned the deposit, first check that it's not just an oversight. Sometimes owners manage dozens of properties at once.

In the event of a dispute, if your landlord refuses to return your security deposit even though no damage was noted during the inventory, we recommend that you send him a letter of complaint by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. . offers a model letter requesting reimbursement of non-returned security deposit.


And of course, at Studapart, our support does not stop after the rental, so do not hesitate to call our team of multilingual experts for any dispute situation. They are used to being intermediaries and helping to settle this kind of conflict.

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