Seeking advice on mailing method for security deposit

3 Replies

Hi BP community! I'm looking for some advice on my current security deposit situation.

My former (very disagreeable and difficult) tenant moved out and I mailed his security deposit settlement to him at his new address via Certified Mail with Return Receipt within 30 days, as SC law requires. The mail carrier has attempted delivery twice and now the mail piece is on its way back to me, "unclaimed." The tenant has since explicitly stated in writing that he refuses to be inconvenienced by answering the door to the Mail Carrier or to go to the Post Office and pick it up/sign for it. He has reiterated to me that he has "not received the refund of [his] security deposit."

SC law does not dictate that I use Certified Mail, but considering his disagreeable nature, I feel it is best practice to protect myself by returning his deposit in this way (or similarly) with proof of mailing date and proof of delivery. 

I know that the cashed check would serve as proof that he received it, but I can't ignore the possibility that he will disagree with the deductions and refuse to cash the check, leaving me exposed to a lawsuit for failure to return the deposit timely.

What advice can you offer on what my next course of action should be?

You did good by mailing the check certified. I am not a lawyer, but I believe you are in the clear to send him a new check, non certified, as long as you keep the original, unopened and returned check that shows it was sent back as undeliverable. if he ever makes waves surrounding the sec deposit, you can then show the judge that you sent the original by certified mail within the legal timeframe. in addition, save the written correspondence showing he refused to accept a certified letter.

It sure takes all kinds in this world, doesn't it?  Can't even got off the couch to go get a check from the mailman, lol.

I agree with @Andrew B. .  I always send the breakdown of the security deposit via Certified mail.  That's the proof needed to show it was sent on time.  I would keep all of that and then just him a new check via regular mail.

Except I'd also add one more line item to the deductions for unnecessarily having to buy a 50 cent stamp, because he was too lazy to pick up the certified mail you'd already sent.  Kidding!  But I'd sure be tempted.

@Melissa Robles ,

Sounds like that's a ending I'd celebrate terminating!   Sounds like a piece of work.... 

Can you get his bank account information and transfer him the money electronically, including emailing him a breakdown of any amounts removed... and just make sure there is a very clear paper trail?   Then follow up with a copy of the payment transfer,  and all the emails stating  proof that they got the money?

I don't know SC law, but make sure you're returning it within the allowable time period, and if any interest is due is included too.