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John McCarter

Return Those Security Deposits

     It seems that with the slowdown in real estate sales and closings that some real estate attorneys are looking to boost their bottom line by turning to tenant representation in lawsuits against landlords.  The area that appears to be the focus of these lawsuits is the security deposit.  Evidently, some landlords are not abiding by South Carolina state law in this regards so let’s go over the requirements.

     Section 27-40-410 of the SC Landlord And Tenant Act basically states that within 30 days after termination of tenancy, the earnest money deposit, less amounts withheld for accrued rent and damages must be returned to the tenant with an itemized statement as to the deductions.

     The tenant must provide the landlord with a forwarding address.  If none is provided by the tenant, the landlord must send the deposit refund and statement to the tenant’s last known address.  Now, here’s the kicker.  If the landlord fails to return, or does not attempt to return, the deposit and statement to the tenant, the tenant can collect three times the amount of the refund plus reasonable attorney fees.

     Bottom line: When your tenants move out, send them their deposit less deductions for rent due and/or repairs and do it within 30 days.  It would also be a good idea to use certified or registered mail as proof of sending.  As always, if you have questions, check with your own attorney.

Published Monday, January 24, 2011 4:43 PM by R&B Properties, Inc.

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Kenny Powell said:

Well, I think the relation of a landlord and a tenant is quite sensitive.For me, if everything written in the blog is followed upon, there will be no problems or gaps in this relationship. Talking from experience as I once rented a place when working for http://www.easyessayhelp.info/essaytigers-com-review/.Very informative and keep it up.

February 9, 2018 5:10 AM

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