Sample Demand Letter for Return of Security Deposit

Writing a demand letter for the return of a security deposit doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Below, I’ll guide you through the process step-by-step, providing a practical template and sharing personal tips that helped me secure my deposit.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with local tenant laws regarding security deposits.
  • Document Everything: Keep records of all communications and take photos when moving in and out.
  • Be Clear and Concise: Your letter should be straightforward and polite, outlining facts and requests.
  • Follow Up: If there is no response by the deadline, be prepared to take further legal steps.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Demand Letter

Step 1: Understand Your Legal Rights

Before you even begin drafting your letter, it’s crucial to understand your rights under your local and state laws. Most jurisdictions have specific regulations about the timeframe in which a landlord must return a security deposit after a tenancy ends. 

This knowledge not only informs the content of your letter but also ensures you are equipped to uphold your rights.

Step 2: Gather All Relevant Information

Prepare by gathering all relevant documentation, including:

  • A copy of your lease
  • Any correspondence with your landlord
  • Move-in and move-out photos or videos
  • Receipts for any repairs or cleaning you handled

Step 3: Draft Your Letter

Start your letter by clearly stating your intent to request the return of your security deposit. Include the following details:

  • Your full name and the rental address
  • Dates of your lease term
  • The amount of the security deposit
  • A concise explanation why the full deposit should be returned (e.g., no damages, proper notice given)
  • A clear request for the total amount to be returned by a specific date, according to state laws

Step 4: Mention Attachments and Evidence

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If you’re attaching supporting documents, mention this in your letter. Examples of evidence include:

  • A checklist of the property’s condition at move-in and move-out
  • Photos or video links
  • Copies of communication with the landlord

Step 5: Send the Letter

Send your demand letter via a method that provides proof of delivery, such as certified mail or another trackable service. This proof will be essential if further action is needed.

Personal Tips from Experience

  • Be Professional: Even if you’re frustrated, keep the tone of your letter professional and courteous. This approach is more likely to elicit a cooperative response from your landlord.
  • Set a Reasonable Deadline: Give your landlord enough time to respond, typically 30 days, which aligns with most state laws.
  • Prepare for Next Steps: Know what your next steps will be if the landlord does not respond or refuses to return the deposit without sufficient cause. This might involve filing in small claims court or seeking assistance from a tenant advocate.

Template for Demand Letter for Return of Security Deposit

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

[Landlord’s Name]
[Landlord’s Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

Subject: Request for Return of Security Deposit

Dear [Landlord’s Name],

I am writing to formally request the return of my security deposit of $[amount] for the property located at [Rental Address]. I vacated the property on [Move-Out Date] and have fulfilled all conditions of our lease agreement.

As per our lease and [State] law, I am requesting the return of my full security deposit within [state-specific deadline] days of my lease termination. Attached are copies of the lease, the move-out inspection checklist, and photographic evidence, which confirm that the property was left in good condition.

Please let me know when I can expect the return of my deposit. If you have any questions or need further documentation, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address].

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to resolving it amicably.

[Your Name]


Writing a demand letter for the return of your security deposit can be straightforward if you follow the steps outlined above. Remember to stay informed about your rights, keep detailed records, and communicate clearly and professionally. By taking these steps, you’ll increase your chances of getting your deposit back in full and on time.

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