How can I get my deposit back?

By K

I paid a deposit in Oct. of 2001 when my husband and I moved into our apartment. We moved out Nov. of 2008 and now my landlord has no record of this deposit amount. Additionally, the landlord is charging us for carpet cleaning and new paint for the walls. There is no excessive wear on either – just 7 years of living in the unit. I have two rental agreements that refer to this specific amount as well as the landlord agreeing to use the deposit to help pay for the last month’s rent.  The bill is now with a collection agency.  I spoke with my bank to obtain a copy of the original deposit check, but they destroy records after 7 years. What do I need to do to get the deposit credit and avoid paying the costs of painting & carpet cleaning?How can I get my deposit back?

Edited on: Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 7:44 pm

3 Responses to “How can I get my deposit back?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


April 6th, 2009 2:55 pm

As a landlord we are responsible for documenting the deposits and keeping a record of it at the time of move-out. Regardless of how long you were in the rental the landlord will still need to account for the deposit. You should be able to credit the deposit amount towards the repair cost. I don’t think you will be able to apply it towards rent. Deposit are used specifically for protection against damages and repair costs. It wouldn’t make much sense for the landlord to let you use the security deposit towards your rent.


April 6th, 2009 2:57 pm

Not to sound to harsh here… but based on your verbage it appears you didn’t pay all or part of your last months rent? Is that true? That would make a lot more sense as to why you are in collections. Its rare to see painting and carpet cleaning cost go to a collection agency. Were you evicted?


December 27th, 2011 1:40 pm

Stop bullying us!


Yes, the RPA® Can Help You!

Filing an official complaint is the nation's fastest way to solve tenant problems.

Not Ready? Learn more...

Virginia Complaint Filling Deadline  Tips/Suggestion

Need Help Filing Your Complaint?

Agents Available Mon- Fri 10am to 10pm

Recently Resolved Complaints:

See how the Nation's Rental Authority has helped thousands of tenants already!

Ask Question:

Post a new question to the RPA Tenants rights forum.

You Have Tenant Rights.
Recently Posted Questions:

Over 4,000 questions have been asked by tenants including these new posts:

Tenant Rights Categories

Popular categories about renters rights.