Landlords are legally required to return security deposits to their former tenants within a specific timeframe--however the requirement changes when a rental eviction occurs. Typically, security deposits are required by landlords when people move into apartments. Security deposit, which is usually the amount of the monthly rent, covers any damages or problems tenants may cause.
A rental eviction is a process landlords have to make people vacate their property. Typically, there are three reasons why landlords would want their tenants to leave. These reasons include nonpayment of rent, violating the terms of the rental agreement or illegal activity. Landlords begin the rental eviction process by providing tenants with a written notice to vacate property. If they don’t, landlords file the necessary paperwork with their local court. If judges or magistrates side with landlords, they enter a judgment against tenants. Then landlords have the legal right to request their local sheriff physically remove tenants and their property. The judge will order people to pay back rent and court fees if the rental eviction was due to nonpayment.
According to the Legal Aid of Western Missouri, landlords don’t have to return security deposits. In fact, they can keep all the money to cover the rent that they were owed. In other words, if the rental eviction was because of non-payment, individuals can’t receive their security deposits back.
If the rental eviction is not for nonpayment, landlords can keep security deposits if there are any damages to property. However, landlords must provide former tenants with a list of reasons why all or a part of the security deposit was kept, according to the Legal Aid of Western Missouri. However, they must send the remaining part of balance—if any to their former tenants.
Individuals should always seek legal advice to their rights concerning rental evictions and security deposits. Thus, they should always talk to a lawyer to see what they can do about avoiding a rental eviction or keeping security deposits. For instance, if landlords wrongfully keep security deposits, a lawyer will explain what people can do to receive their money.