New York Rentals Security Deposit Refunds.
Security deposits are not last month’s rent for the tenant nor are they extra bonus rent for the landlord. Unfortunately many landlords fail to return the security deposit and if that is the case here are some steps as a tenant you can take.
When moving in take pictures and notes on any existing damages, upon move out take pictures as well and if possible arrange a walk through with the landlord day of move out and handing over the keys.
If the landlord/property manager does not return your security deposit in a reasonable amount of time (NY state law is vague on this but 20 to 45 days) then notify either by phone, e-mail or in writing. Best to have documentation of this. When asking for your return security deposit make sure you provide them a mailing address.
If you are still having problems in the return of your security deposit them making a complaint to the local Better Business Bureau would be a good next step. Usually a phone call from them will help speed up the process.
If after several attempts the landlord/property manager still does not refund your security deposit then New York state law allows you to file a suit in small claims court to recover rent security deposits. Another alternative to filing a lawsuit is a mediation service offered by the New York Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection. You simply file a rent complaint form along with copies of all e-mails, rental contracts and pictures.
Note Property Assessments and Tax records are public knowledge and usually on the internet. For New York Tax Maps and Data click here and follow directions to your county and municipality.