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Landlords and Return of the Security Deposit
**** Whoops!! If you're looking for the blog post about Pet Deposits - CLICK HERE - Sorry for the misdirect! 
Nothing is more stressful, for either the landlord or the tenant, than the end of lease conversations around the return of a security deposit. The tenant is worried about what the landlord is going to withhold, and the landlord is worried about the condition of the apartment and the oftentimes acrimonious conversations with the former tenant around condition of the apartment and the cost to make it rentable again.
This blog is for Landlords. What are your rights as a Landlord and how does the return of the security deposit work? 
State laws vary, but in Rhode Island the landlord has 20 days from the date she receives ALL keys back from the tenants AND a forwarding address in writing to return the security deposit less any documented expenses. 
As a property manager I do not inspect with tenants present. Having a tenant present causes me to be less thorough, and causes a tenant to be defensive. It often leads to conflict. I advise my landlords to do the same: do the walk through when the tenant is done and keys are returned. This lets the tenant take all the time ... more

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