Security deposit - no forwarding address

7 Replies

Ok so I called, emailed ,  and texted and got no address to send security deposit to.  I then sent the security deposit to the rental address and the  tenant has  no forwarding address order so it was delivered to the apartment and I picked it up from the mailbox.   So just stick the unopened deposit check I  mailed in a draw and wait?   They are students so they will think of it some time but I haven't had one do this before.     I also have another who acknowledged but didn't cash the check. Suggestions?   I think there may be something in the air here....... 

Originally posted by @Colleen F.:

... So just stick the unopened deposit check I  mailed in a draw and wait?  ...

That is what I have been told to do in such cases.  The postmark shows you did as required by law within the time limits as given by law. What sucks is your checkbook register balance gets out of agreement with the bank statement until they retrieve the check. 

The one that did not cash the check might not cash if it is not a complete refund, and they might be going to sue you only time will tell.

Joe Gore

Proactively, when tenants move-in, we give them a move-out packet that explains how to give notice and what is required when they intend to move and our process.  It includes a "Notice to Vacate" form for the tenant to fill out so it is easy for them to give written notice to us, specific to our landlord tenant laws.  On this notice is a place for them to fill in a forwarding address.  When we do the move-out inspection with the tenant we have them sign a "Return of Possession Form" which also has a place to fill in a forwarding address.

Retroactively, in your situation, I would do as you did... in addition, I would call the emergency contact person for this tenant and ask them to ask the tenant to contact you asap about the refund on their deposit.   If you didn't get an emergency contact name/phone/address from the tenant upon move-in, or if the emergency contact person's information is outdated, try to find someone else who knows the tenant.... perhaps a reference person from their original application to rent.

I would find their Facebook page and send them a private message. If that doesn't work, just keep the envelope in a drawer till you hear from them.

Thanks all.

@Joe Gore  I am pretty sure the one who acknowledged and didn't cash has something up his sleeve but have to wait and see. That one is a jerk so I stopped replying. He was in a different unit where damage was done.

@Steve Babiak    I  was thinking I did everything required but just wanted to be sure.  This tenant was a good one but a little scattered in the end. Since he was inherited I had no parental information. Normally I would just mail to the "emergency contact address" I collect when they move in or cosigner  address for students but I had neither because even after I took over they just didn't fill in the forms.

@Marcia Maynard    no move out inspection with them. Graduation and they were gone left the keys on the counter. I tried to get them to fill out stuff by email and most do and stopped by on their last weekend but didn't catch them. Good tenant but I think he got left overwhelmed in the transition. When the bills start coming in again he will remember.

Michelle Na  no luck on facebook.

I've had this happen many times. You want to send the security deposit settlement paperwork and their portion of the refund to their last known address certified with a return receipt. If it comes back to you as unable to deliver, keep the envelope unopened.

Two years ago, I had a crazy tenant move out and break her lease. I rented the house out quickly, so I couldn't keep all of her security deposit. She was calling every day demanding the full deposit and would not give a forwarding address. I sent her portion to the last know address certified and it came back. She eventually took me to small claims court to try and get all of her deposit.

In court, she stated her case and I stated mine. The judge looked at the copies I provided of what was in the sealed envelope that I brought to court. He said that all of my paperwork was in order and asked me if the check was in the envelope for the amount that I claimed. He finally had me open the envelope in front of him and produce the check. 

His ruling was that she would get that check, but if for some reason her bank would not accept it due to the age of check, I would have to give her a new one.

I never heard from her again. It was a hassle going to court, but the cases before mine were entertaining. It ended up not costing me anything as she had to pay court costs and only received the check that I had sent her anyway.

Keep a good papertrail.

Well this tenant has replied with an address finally so I will send off his depost.  Thanks to all of you for contributing.  @Rob K.   I think my other tenant who did not like the amount of his check may be planning what your tenant did but he is another story.  I will just go by the book with him and see what happens. Good to hear it worked well for you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here