LETTER TO REQUEST RETURN OF VERMONT SECURITY DEPOSIT
In Vermont the landlord must return your whole security deposit or send
you a letter saying why he is not returning all or part
of it Your landlord must do one of these things within
14 days after you move out. Your landlord must hand
deliver or by mail your full deposit or the letter to
the last address he has for you. If your landlord sends
you a letter instead of your deposit, the letter must
list the amount he is taking and each reason or item he
is taking money for. Your landlord must give you back
whatever money is left over.
landlord must return your whole deposit or send you a
letter within 14 days from when he knew you left the home
you rented. Did your landlord keep part or all of your
Did your landlord send you a letter that explains
how much he is keeping and why?
If your landlord kept your
deposit but didn't send you a letter within 14 days, he is
required to return your whole security deposit to you.
I still have not received my security deposit back or a
written itemized list of deductions.
Pursuant to chapter 137, section 4461 of the Vermont state
statutes, if a landlord fails to return a security deposit
and/or a written list of deductions within 14 days from the date
the tenant vacates the unit, the landlord forfeits the right to
keep any of the deposit. Furthermore, "if the failure is
willful, the landlord shall be liable for double the amount
wrongfully withheld, plus reasonable attorney's fees and
I request that you return my deposit to me immediately. You
may mail it to the following address:
If the Vermont Landlord
Won't Return the Security Deposit?
Did your landlord not send you your security deposit or a list
of deductions within 14 days? Do you believe your landlord
wrongfully kept all or part of your deposit? Do you want to get
all or part of your deposit back? If so you can write a demand
letter seeking return of the deposit. You should also be able to
sue the landlord in Small Claims Court.
Preventative Steps to Take to Ensure a Deposit Return
A tenant must meet all of the above conditions to ensure
a refund of the deposit, but meeting those conditions is not all
the tenant should do. The chances of receiving return of the
deposit will be increased if the following suggestions are also
Move-in Inventory Inspection. When you move in your home
or apartment, make a list and take photos of the apartment and
any damage. Typically, you should do a walk through with the
owner or manager prior to moving in. Get them to sign an
acknowledgement of the damage and note what (if anything) will
be done. This will help you when you move out.
Move-Out Notice. A lease may require that the tenant give
the landlord 30 days written notice prior to move-out in order
to get the security deposit back. Even if
the lease does not require it, notify the landlord prior
Move-out Inventory Inspection. When the tenant prepares
to move, the apartment or home should be cleaned and the
landlord asked to appear for a move out inspection. The tenant
should fill out another inventory form, similar to the move-in
inventory. Ideally, you should have a copy of the original move
in form - for both your use and the landlord.
Turn in the Keys. The keys should be turned in on the
exact day the tenant vacates the premises. If the keys are
turned in later, the landlord may be able to charge the tenant
additional rent or other charges under the lease. A tenant's
actual move out date is often considered to be when the keys are
What Can the Landlord Deduct from the Security Deposit?
A landlord cannot legally deduct for normal
wear and tear. This refers to deterioration which
occurs during regular, daily, intended use of the rental unit,
for example nail holes in the walls from pictures or paintings.
See our guide.
Deductions from the Security Deposit
If the landlord makes any deductions from the deposit, a
written, itemized accounting of how much is being charged for
each item must be sent to the tenant. If the landlord fails to
provide such an accounting within 30 days after the tenant moves
out, the landlord may forfeit the right to withhold any part of
the deposit. Furthermore, the deductions taken from the deposit
must be for actual damages suffered by the landlord.
How to Dispute Deposit Deductions
If a tenant receives a list of deductions, it is
possible to dispute items on that list. The deductions should be
addressed by the tenant in a letter sent to the landlord. The
demand letter should include a response to each of the
deductions, explaining which charges are being disputed and why.
The tenant should keep a copy of the letter and send the
original by certified mail, return receipt requested.
If the tenant receives a partial refund along with the list of
deductions and wants to dispute some or all of the deductions,
the tenant may want to refrain from cashing the check. If the
tenant must cash the check then the tenant should tell the
landlord in the letter that even though the check has been
cashed, it does not mean the tenant agrees with the amount of