My landlord doesn't want to give me back my deposit, what should I do?

Have you returned your set of keys, time is running out and your landlord still hasn't returned your deposit? It's a stressful situation, but don't panic, there are solutions! Studapart explains everything to you.


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My landlord doesn't want to give me back my deposit, what should I do?



Everything you need to know about the security deposit


What is the security deposit?


Before explaining to you what are the deadlines for returning the deposit and your recourse to recover it, let's first look at the nature and purpose of the deposit, or security deposit.


The security deposit is a sum of money that you must give to the landlord when signing the rental agreement. In fact, it is not compulsory, but rental companies systematically ask for it. The owners want to find their property in good condition when the tenant leaves! The role of the surety is therefore to encourage you to pay attention to the condition of the apartment, and to compensate the owner in the event of damage. To put it simply, it's a win-win system!


Good to know
Are you familiar with the “mobility lease”? This process makes it possible to rent out goods on contracts ranging from 1 to 10 months. It is non-renewable and non-renewable. If you do so, the damage is covered free of charge by a Visale device, that is to say a state guarantee. The aim is to facilitate access to housing for mobile tenants, such as students, interns, employees on temporary assignments or in vocational training… To benefit from it, nothing could be simpler: create your personal space on the Visale website by providing your supporting documents. If your request is validated, you will obtain a certified visa which can be presented to the rental company.


What is the maximum amount of the deposit?


The amount of the security deposit is regulated by the law of July 6, 1989. This is to reassure you: the owner will not be able to demand an astronomical amount!


The amount depends on the type of rental. For an empty rental, it cannot exceed one month's rent excluding charges. For a furnished rental, it may increase up to 2 months rent excluding charge. This is explained by a higher risk of degradation: the owner could have to repair or replace furniture in addition to the degradation of the apartment. But we tell you a secret. As we know that it is not necessarily easy for tenants to put 2 months' rent in the deposit, Studapart recommends that owners request a maximum month's deposit from tenants, regardless of the nature of their accommodation. Note: the amount is defined when signing the contract, it cannot be changed during the rental!


How long can the owner keep the deposit for my accommodation?


Often, the deposit is returned on the day the keys are handed over, which eliminates the problem of late return. If your deposit has not been returned to you at that time, several scenarios exist. We explain in detail what is provided for by law.


If the check-out inventory is identical to the check-in inventory - that is to say that there is no damage - your owner has a maximum of one month to return your deposit. The restitution can be done by check or transfer. We advise you to make sure that you have transmitted your address or your bank details to your landlord.


If, on the contrary, damage is observed, the period for returning the deposit is extended to 2 months. The objective is to give the lessor time to estimate the cost of repairs, make quotes and thus deduce how much of the deposit will be kept. However, the damage should be noticed during the check-out, and not afterwards. Otherwise, the lessor is not entitled to withhold part or all of your deposit. If you find yourself in this situation, you can claim that the damage occurred after your release.


My landlord does not give me back my deposit. What to do ?


Why can my landlord refuse to give me back my deposit?


If the accommodation is damaged, your landlord has the right to keep part or all of the deposit. The reasons may be degradation or lack of maintenance of the apartment, furniture or equipment. The landlord can also invoke unpaid rent or significant delays in the payment of rent or charges, and therefore not return the corresponding amount of your deposit.


If this is the case, the amount that will be deducted from your deposit will depend on the repairs to be carried out. Your landlord will need to provide you with proof, such as a quote for example.


Settle the problem amicably


No damage has been observed but your rental company has not returned your security deposit on time? Your landlord refuses to give you back your deposit because of damage, but you don't agree with his decision? Breathe, Studapart gives you all its best advice to deal with these inconveniences.


Before taking legal action, there are several simpler solutions available to you. It is not necessarily worth starting a dispute. We recommend that you first check that this is not just an oversight on the part of your landlord. Indeed, it happens that the renters manage several properties at the same time and that they did not think of returning the deposit. First, contact him to remind him. You can also send him a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. This will prove that your landlord has been notified of his delay.


Call on Studapart!


If the problem has still not been resolved, Studapart recommends that you try as much as possible to have recourse amicably... and take over to settle the dispute! Our team supports you through the entire booking process, from the virtual tour to after. Our multilingual experts are available 6 days a week to give you all their tips. Enjoy it!


If you can't communicate with your landlord anymore, we can go through it and speed things up. We are in constant contact with our 36,000 private landlords and know how to settle this type of dispute. What to avoid an endless tussle with its owner!

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