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Security deposit return letter

This Agreement is entered by and between Jonas Adam, individually or collectively as the "Signee" and Jane Smith, as the "Signer", together referred to as the "Parties".
The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1. Agreement terms

The Parties agree that the following agreement is dependent on the terms presented as follow:

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Security deposit return letter

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What is a security deposit return letter?

A security deposit letter is an important document that clearly outlines the expectations and responsibilities of a landlord and a tenant at the end of the tenant’s stay in the landlord’s property. While the letter is certainly centered around the return of the security deposit, as its name would suggest, it also describes other important terms at the conclusion of the rental period, such as what costs the tenant is responsible for covering.

Usually, a security deposit return letter is based heavily on the terms of the original rental agreement as well as the landlord’s and tenants’ inspection and evaluation of the state of the rental property at the end of the rental period. So, while many of the terms and expectations outlined in the agreement may not be a surprise to either party, it is often best to have these in writing to ensure there are no disputes when a rental ends, or have a clear means of resolving those speeds quickly if they do arise.

For example, if original rental agreement outlined that tenant is responsible for any damages beyond normal wear and tear to the property’s appliances, such as a washing machine or dishwasher, and if at the end of the rental period both the landlord and the tenant agree that there is damage to those, then security deposit return letter will outline how much of the tenant’s security deposit is withheld to pay for the cost of refurbishing or replacing those appliances.

When do you need a security deposit return letter?

Just like a rental agreement itself or a sublease agreement, it is often better to have a security deposit return than not. There are many security deposit return letter templates available in different formats, and it is not too complicated to create and sign one. However the benefits of having an explicit agreement strongly outweigh any time or cost needed to make the letter. Having the letter can help reduce or eliminate any possible conflict or dispute that arises about the cost of the security deposit for any damages incurred during on the rental period.

What should a security deposit return letter contain?

The exact content of a security deposit release letter will depend on several factors, including how explicit this part of the rental was outlined in the original rental agreement, as well as what potential costs for reimbursements the tenant is responsible for on the property itself. However, there are several common clauses that will appear in many security deposit return letters:

Interest rate on the security deposit

The vast majority of states in the United States require that a security deposit be held in a financial account that bears interest. That means oftentimes the tenant will receive more money back from their security deposit than they originally gave the landlord if they’re not responsible for additional costs. The security deposit agreement and the security deposit return agreement should contain an explicit outline of not only how much is originally paid for the security deposit, but also what the interest on the deposit is. This will make it easy at the end of the period to determine how much should be paid back to the tenant.

Timeframe of the rental

Like the rental agreement itself, it can be helpful in security deposit return agreement to state explicitly the timeframe in which the tenant was paying rent, the frequency that they pay rent, and any other costs associated with them staying in the rental.

Use of the security deposit

Even though tenant paid the security deposit at the beginning of the rental, and even though the security deposit was kept in an interest-bearing account, not all of the security deposit and interest are paid back to the tenant by default. The landlord or the manager will visit the property to determine if there is any damage done or any issues that were caused by the tenant during their state that were not covered under the original rental agreement. In that case, the cost to repair this damage is one often paid out of the security deposit. Exactly what is covered and what is not covered by the security deposit and what the tenant versus the landlord is liable for will outlined in the original rental agreement.

How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit?

As with most aspects of law in the United States, the amount of time a landlord has to return a security deposit depends on the state in which the individual lives. This return period is set on a state by state basis and can vary from as short as 14 days to as long as 60 days. See below for a full list of the time that a landlord has to return the security deposit in each state.

Although this time limit is set at the state level, it could be helpful to have the time limit also written explicitly into the contract to make sure everybody's expectations are aligned and that the timeframe is explicit with both parties.


What happens if the landlord doesn’t return the entire security deposit?

In the event that the landlord does not return the entire security deposit, they should clearly outline why the entire deposit is not being returned and itemize the costs associated with the lesser amount. There are certain cases that would enable the landlord to return less than the full security deposit. While this is not an exhaustive list, some examples of this situation would include:

  • A tenant leaving the property before paying their rent entirely
  • Any major damages to the apartment or associated property that is not covered under the original rental agreement
  • Creating extremely dirty or unsanitary or unusual wear and tear damages to the property beyond what is reasonably covered in the original rental agreement
  • If the tenant left positions in the property itself that necessitated removal or cleaning beyond what was outlined in the original agreement
  • If the tenant terminated their rental early and incurred a penalty or some other cost as outlined in the original rental agreement
  • If by terminating the agreement early or in some other way the tenant left the landlord with unpaid bills associated with the property, such as utilities, phone, and the Internet.

Should the landlord or tenant write the security deposit return letter?

Often times the landlord themselves will write the security deposit return letter, especially if the landlord owns many buildings and properties or if the landlord uses a professional management company to manage the day-to-day operations of the properties. In that case, the security deposit return letter will be a template that they use over and over. 

However, that doesn't mean that the tenant themselves should not read the agreement carefully and ensure that it reflects not only the terms set in the original rental agreement but also reflects any changes or important updates in apartment during the time that they stayed there that would affect the security deposit return, such as any damages or other associated costs.

Is there anything special to know about signing the agreement?

Note that both parties should sign the agreement once it has been filled out completely and verified by both of them. It is not considered valid unless both have signed and dated the agreement. Whether the security deposit return agreement is signed electronically such as on a PDF or other service, or a paper copy is signed, both parties should keep a copy of the agreement for their records, in case it is needed in the future.

Late Rent Notices and Security Deposit Return Letters

Landlords always want to receive rent payments within the agreed-upon timeline. The landlords also want renters where they can send a full security deposit back to a tenant that cared for the space they rented. A late rent notice is something that all landlords have to write from time to time. Rental history checks are important to reduce the likelihood of nightmare tenants.

Below are the details that a late rent notice has to contain to encourage the renter to comply:

  • Names of the landlord, tenants, and address of the rental need to be listed.
  • Penalties if the rent is not paid by a certain date and payment forms accepted.
  • The signature of the landlord or leasing company representative also has to be present.

Landlords usually have a few day window to pay rent to provide the tenant some flexibility. Automatic payments being set up can reduce rental prices at times as it provides convenience for the landlord. 

Boat Bills of Sale

A boat bill of sale is similar to transferring the title of an automobile but with watercraft of some kind. You are going to want proof that ownership of the boat as it can be an expensive investment. Below are tips to write out a boat bill of sale that will protect the buyer and seller:

  • The location including the county the boat is being purchased in should be listed.
  • The boat including details of the year of the model, title number, and the hull ID.
  • The price the boat is being sold for needs to be included.
  • Both the signatures of the buyer and seller will be required to make the bill of sale valid. 

Purchasing a boat could be a lifetime dream whether it is for fishing or just enjoying the open water. Make sure you are protected through the purchase process and obtain an extremely detailed bill of sale. 

Lease Renewal Agreements 

At least once in a lifetime a tenant will have a great landlord that communicates, is patient, and upholds their end of the lease agreement. Extending the lease or signing a lease renewal agreement will be a necessity. Landlords do not always want to extend the leases of tenants that pay late or constantly are harassing neighbors in other units. A lease renewal agreement might have different payment amounts or other clauses that are added.

With all rental agreements, it is imperative to have the agreement in writing. Below are tips for what to include in a lease renewal agreement:

  • The names of all tenants and the landlord should be included with contact information.
  • The rental price of the new lease needs to be included as well.
  • The duration of the lease if it is to be a set amount of time instead of a month to month agreement. 

Finding the perfect rental at the right price with a great landlord takes quite a bit of searching. The best leases protect both parties and outline expectations that need to be met. 

Change of Address Letters and Security Deposit Return Letters

Remember to notify all entities necessary about a change of address can be difficult. Creating a change of address letter is recommended as you want your mail to go directly to you. A former landlord receiving one of these letters can allow them to know where to send back a security deposit. Banks and other financial institutions should be informed and so should your employer. 

The process does not have to be complicated and the language doesn’t have to be overly formal. Below are some steps and information to include in a change of address letter

  • The gathering of contact information for all of those to be notified could take some time. 
  • Your name along with current and previous addresses are to be listed. 
  • Account numbers can make it easy for providers like the cable company to cancel or switch your service address. 

Drafting your change of address letter does not have to be difficult. The importance of including the above information cannot be understated. 

Equipment Lease Agreements 

Entering into an equipment lease agreement will differ in complexity depending on what type of equipment is to be leased. Both the company or person leasing the equipment need to sign this agreement. This protects the owner and their equipment as well as the person leasing the equipment. Large machinery being leased can be worth immense amounts so the owner wants to be protected. 

The following are the important details to include in an equipment lease agreement:

  • The names of all involved in the leasing process should be included along with signatures. 
  • The dates that the lease will be for, at times this can be a long-term lease or for as little as a few days. 
  • The payment schedule and amount to continue to lease the equipment is required.
  • The description of the equipment being leased along with serial numbers should be listed. 
  • Listing who is responsible for upkeep and repairs is imperative. Failure to comply with these can lead to termination of the lease.
  • The process for returning the equipment must also be outlined. 

Partnership Dissolution Agreements 

Partnerships end daily with some ending on a positive note and others ending due to constant conflict. The drafting of a partnership dissolution agreement can be complex or simple depending on the type of partnership. The last thing that many former partners want is a lawsuit occurring far after the partnership has concluded. The details of the dissolution will outline expectations of all involved which provides clarity and reduces the chance of conflict.

Below will delve into important information to include in the dissolution agreement: 

  • The names and signatures of all of the partners. 
  • A list of the assets and debts as well as how they will be allocated. 
  • Tax obligations are common and should be outlined. Multiple partners might be responsible for a certain amount of tax money owed. 
  • Signing a release to avoid future legal action from being taken is common as well. 

Partnership dissolution agreements are commonly created. Having a legal professional doing this can be beneficial especially in the cases of complex partnerships. 

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