How to Write a Security Deposit Refund Letter

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With DoNotPay’s Security Deposit Refund Letter, No Landlord Will Deny You!

As your lease nears its end and you prepare to move out of your apartment, several things might occupy your attention—finding a new place, moving your possessions, notifying your landlord on time, and making sure you get your security deposit back.

You worked hard for that money, and it should be returned to you if you honored all the rules of your lease and left the rental unit in good condition. Still, landlords can get greedy and withhold your money. In that case, let DoNotPay help you with serving them a great security deposit refund letter they won’t be able to ignore.

When to Send a Security Deposit Refund Letter?

While getting your deposit can sometimes go awry, you should know that in most states, landlords are obliged by law to give you your money back, even if the amount you paid has been reduced due to possible expenses. While a security deposit can sometimes be used to cover the last rent, many landlords avoid such practice and charge you anywhere between one to three month’s rent before you move in.

In most states, there are fixed deadlines for landlords to issue your security deposit refund once you move out, and this window can be from 14 to 60 days. As soon as the given timeframe for your security deposit refund is over, you can hit your landlord with a security deposit refund letter.

In California, per Civil Code 1950.5, you can send your security deposit refund request after 21 days, but in New York, the landlord has just two weeks to send you your money back after you move out, per Section 7-108.

When Is Your Security Deposit Refund Letter Void?

Even if you didn’t leave the apartment in a spick-and-span condition, your request for a security deposit refund is legitimate. In case of deductions, the landlord must notify you about them in writing, listing all the expenses taken from your security deposit, including breakdowns or possible lease breaches.

The normal wear-and-tear for a leased apartment that can’t be charged against your security deposit differs from state to state, but normally includes:

  • Worn carpeting
  • Peeling paint
  • Minor changes that exist as a result of a long-term lease
  • Breakdown of some appliances as a result of long-term use
  • Broken hinges
  • Dirty air filters

More serious damage that your landlord could charge include:

  • Burns in carpets
  • Broken appliances, unless the landlord failed to repair them after you gave written notice
  • Holes in walls or floors
  • Damaged windows
  • An unusually dirty apartment
  • Any excessive damage, unusual for a standard long-term lease
  • Any damage made by tenant’s guests

Besides extreme damage to the property, there are some other situations which could limit your security deposit refund request or completely invalidate it:

  1. If you leave your apartment without paying the rent
  2. You leave the apartment extremely filthy
  3. If you leave things that need to be removed
  4. When you end the lease before it expires
  5. If you don’t pay utility bills

How to Write a Security Deposit Refund Letter?

Your security deposit refund request letter doesn’t have to be long, but make sure to clarify your intent. It also doesn’t have to contain any fancy language—its goal is to convey the fact that you know what your rights are, and you intend to take the matter further if necessary. Here are some do’s and don’ts that might be helpful:



  • State that you paid rent on time and honored the rules of your lease
  • Explain that you haven’t received the security deposit back yet
  • Refer to your state’s specific laws that regulate the deadlines for security deposit refunds
  • Include your new address, if you haven’t already
  • State the exact amount of your security refund
  • Set up a reasonable time limit for issuing the refund upon the receipt of your letter (usually seven days)
  • Use threatening or demeaning language
  • Request your money immediately
  • Write when you’re feeling frustrated and angry
  • Be vague
  • Include irrelevant or unnecessary information

Security Deposit Refund Letter Sample

While security deposit refund letters addressed to a landlord can differ in size and content, they should follow a template similar to this:



[City], [State] [Zip Code]

Dear [Name]:

I am writing to you to provide notice of my request for a refund of the security deposit paid in the amount of $[Amount] for the rental of a property [Address], [City], [State] [Zip Code].

I vacated the residence on [00/00/00] with no damages beyond ordinary wear and tear or late rent payments.

Please mail my security deposit refund in full to:


[City], [State] [Zip Code]

action will be taken unless the full amount of the security deposit, originally paid on [00/00/00], is not returned within seven days of receipt of this letter.

Please call me if you have any questions.


[Your Name]

[Your Number]

What to Do After You Write the Security Deposit Refund Letter to Your Landlord?

When you’re done writing, and you’re satisfied with the result, there are only a few more steps to take before you can get your hard-earned money back:

  1. Make copies—If you end up in court, having a copy of your refund request will play in your favor
  2. Send the letter by certified mail—By doing so, you will know that the landlord received your letter, and if they still ignore your refund request, you will know it’s time to take action
  3. Wait for the deadline stated in your letter—The landlord will either refund your security deposit or not, but you have to honor the deadline you requested
  4. File a claim in a small claims court—As a last resort, don’t be afraid to take action. If you don’t want to hire a lawyer, DoNotPay can lead you through the process!

Let DoNotPay Help You With Your Security Deposit Refund Letter!

You don’t need to delve into research or worry if writing formal documents is not your forte. DoNotPay can create a great security deposit refund letter for you in a matter of moments. The world’s first AI Consumer Champion that fits in your pocket has your back. You just need to create your profile on DoNotPay’s website in a .

Once you finish setting up your profile, log in, and follow these simple instructions:

  1. Find File a Chargeback on the homepage
  2. When prompted, provide your bank details
  3. Specify the transaction details
  4. Confirm your identity by signing the dispute and hit Submit

You’re all set! DoNotPay’s virtual team will send a chargeback letter to your bank regarding your paid security deposit. You only need to wait for the amount to show up in your bank statement.

See What Else DoNotPay Can Do For You!

DoNotPay was created with a mission to offer streamlined and efficient solutions to different and administrative issues that might plague your life. Not only can it help you with getting your security deposit back, but it can protect you from landlord harassment and cyberstalking as well.

Assisting you with documents like security deposit refund letter, cease and desist letter, or letters of refund payment, is just a small fraction of DoNotPay’s portfolio. If you need help with getting refunds for plane tickets, unemployment insurance, or a robocall epidemic, you’ve come to the right place.

The solutions to these pesky problems are at your fingertips when you create your DoNotPay profile in your . Improve your life now and see what else DoNotPay can help you do:

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