Do I have to return the Security Deposit ?

8 Replies


So I rented one of my room in my 3 bed 2 bath condo to a guy on a month to month lease in IL.

According to the law he should have given 30 days notice before vacating the property. 

He vacated the property on 1 June 2018 and told me 2 hours before leaving that he is going out. 
The room is vacant since then and I am already loosing a month's rent. 

Question: Do I have to return the security deposit back to this Tenant ?

@Account Closed I would think NO.

If the law says (and hopefully your lease) that he has to give 30 days notice and he did not then he is not entitled to the deposit.

I would confirm this with a local attorney to confirm.

I've heard of IL strict deposit return protocol so either way give proper notice of intent to withhold in a timely manner.

I withhold the days of rent it took to re-rent when I receive no notice.  I would notify that I am actively marketing it for rent and will only withhold what is necessary up to the notice period I should have received. Their refund would be pending. But I'm not in IL.  Get advice from a LL in IL.

I don’t know about IL, but many states require you to provide details on how the security deposit was used.

So even if it’s legal to use it as a termination fee, you still have to write a letter stating such.

Make sure you either talk to someone familiar with the laws in your state/city, or read the landlord tenant laws yourself so you don’t mess it up.

If he is on a month-to-month lease, he is required to give 30 days notice. If he failed to give notice, you can continue charging rent until the 30 days are up or you place a new tenant, whichever is sooner. In most states, you are required to make a "good faith effort" to find a replacement tenant as quick as possible.

Don't forget the tenant that left is also responsible for utilities and upkeep until a new tenant is placed or the 30 days are up. So even if you find someone to move in on June 20th, be sure to charge the previous tenant for rent, utilities, landscaping, or whatever else he is normally responsible for up until the 19th.

I would look at the landlord-tenant laws in your state to get some clarification. I would assume, like everyone above, that you can deduct the lost rent and utility charges from the tenant's security deposit. Best of luck!

You need to study your state specific landlord tenant regulations. No one has yet responded that operates in IL therefor no advice you have received can be relied upon without verification. Every area is different and many do not allow deposits to be used for anything other than compensation for tenant caused damage regardless of what a lease may say.

To be safe, and stay out of court, learn your own state codes.  

Thank you friends for your input.

I spoke to one of my attorneys yesterday and he said that I don't have to return the security deposit and the tenant is also responsible for a month of lost rent.
I was just trying to avoid any ugly situation and offered my tenant half of his security deposit back. However, he refused the offer and is now threatening to take legal action if he doesn't get the security deposit in a week. 

According to my attorney, I am already exempt from a lot of city rules since I live in the property. Also, on a month to month tenancy, the tenant is required to give a written 30 days notice before moving out. So, I am going to write him a letter stating that I will not return his security deposit and he is also liable for another months rent. 

Again, I am not sure how this will go but at least from my side I always try to be a good landlord and make it very clear to my tenant that I will not be able to return their deposit if they don't give me enough notice in advance.

Knee jerk reaction is keep the deposit , however as others mentioned you better check your lease and your local laws on this matter . Most losers who do this like this figure in their mind the deposit is the last months rent