Handling a dispute over a security deposit

As a landlord, you could run into a number of challenges while renting property. Whether you have a tenant who repeatedly fails to pay rent or you have decided to move forward with an eviction, issues involving tenants can generate stress and uncertainty. Additionally, some landlords find themselves in the middle of a dispute over security deposits.

If your tenant has accused you of failing to return their security deposit in accordance with their rights, it is pivotal to review the rights and obligations of each party and have a clear understanding of your options.

Damages and security deposits

The Delaware Judiciary published information on the rights of tenants and landlords with respect to security deposits. Tenants have an obligation to avoid damaging rental units, and a landlord could withhold the security deposit if they determine that the tenant caused damage. However, landlords must provide tenants with a list of damages in no more than 20 days after the rental agreement becomes terminated.

Failure to return security deposits

If a landlord does not return the security deposit within the 20-day timeframe following rental agreement termination, or if they do not provide a list of damages, the tenant can ask for double the amount of their security deposit. However, in order to receive a double security deposit, the tenant must have given their landlord a forwarding address when the rental agreement became terminated or at an earlier point.

If you have questions about how to address any type of dispute with your tenant, it is imperative to have a thorough understanding of your rights.



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