A Demand Security Deposit Letter Template for Tenants

Moving out can make getting your security deposit back a hassle, but a demand letter can smooth out the process. By including all the key details in writing and using a polite yet formal tone, you give your former landlord a fair chance to return what they owe without any unnecessary complications.

Nichole Stohler
Last Updated
April 26, 2024
A Demand Security Deposit Letter Template for Tenants

Moving out of a rental property comes with its own set of tasks, including the process of getting your security deposit back. If your landlord has not returned your deposit within the legally required timeframe or has made deductions you disagree with, a demand security deposit letter can help.

This formal written request serves as documentation of your request and informs the landlord of your knowledge of tenant rights, potentially prompting them to address the situation.

In this article, we'll guide you through composing an effective demand letter, covering the necessary elements to increase your chances of receiving your security deposit without unnecessary complications. The letter aims to resolve the matter amicably while protecting your interests as a tenant.

What is a demand security deposit letter?

A demand security deposit letter is a formal written request from a tenant in which they ask the landlord to return the security deposit after a tenancy has ended.

Generally, landlords return security deposits without needing to be asked, so this letter tends to be used in cases where the landlord hasn't returned the money within the time frame specified by their state's laws.

The importance of a demand security deposit letter

A demand security deposit letter formally documents your request for the return of your security deposit and serves as evidence of this request should legal action become necessary in the future.

It demonstrates your understanding of tenant rights and the landlord's legal obligations, which can prompt the landlord to return your deposit to avoid potential litigation.

The letter also provides the landlord ample opportunity to address any outstanding issues regarding deductions or timelines for returning the deposit.

What does a security deposit request letter include?

A security deposit demand letter should include:

  • The tenant's name and new address.
  • Property details.
  • Dates of tenancy.
  • Security deposit amount.
  • Request for return of the deposit.
  • Instructions for refund.
  • Deadline for response.
  • Warning of further action.
  • Copies of the lease, move-out inspection report or photographs.

How to write a security deposit demand letter

If your landlord fails to return your security deposit, here’s how to create an effective letter to get your money back:

  • Know your state's rules: Research your local security deposit laws. In most states, you can find this information on government websites in the housing or consumer protection sections.
  • Start with a clear header: Begin with a header that includes the date and your contact information, such as your forwarding address and email. Also include your landlord's name and address, as well as a clear subject line.
  • Provide an explanation: State that you are formally requesting the return of your deposit. Include the address of the rental unit and the date your lease ended.
  • Make your case: Provide your reasons for requesting the full monetary return, citing applicable laws on deposit timelines and conditions. Highlight the property’s condition at move-out and that you followed all the lease terms as a tenant.
  • Outline next steps and sign: Set a reasonable deadline for the landlord to return the deposit in a timely manner. If the landlord doesn't return the deposit by the deadline, mention that you may pursue legal action, such as filing a case in small claims court. Conclude the letter politely and sign it.

Sample security deposit demand letter

To make life easier, we've created a template you can customize to request the return of your security deposit from your landlord:

[Your Name]

[Your Current Address]


[Landlord's Name]

[Landlord's Address]

Subject: Demand for Immediate Return of Security Deposit

Dear [Landlord's Name],

I am writing to formally request the immediate return of my $[Amount] security deposit for the property at [Rental Property Address], which I vacated on [Move-Out Date]. Under the terms of our lease and state law [Cite specific state statute if applicable], you are now past the deadline for returning security deposits.

I followed all lease terms, maintaining the property in good condition and leaving it clean and satisfactory, as confirmed during the move-out inspection on [Date of Inspection]. As of today, you have not returned my deposit or provided an itemized list of deductions. Therefore, I am requesting the full return of my deposit.

Please send the total deposit of $[Amount] to the above address within [Number of Days] days of this letter. If you do not comply, I am prepared to initiate legal proceedings to recover the funds owed to me.

I would appreciate your cooperation in resolving this matter quickly and amicably.


[Your Signature]

[Your Printed Name]

Delivering your letter

There are several methods you can use to deliver your letter. First, you can send the letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested. This way, you'll have proof that the landlord received the letter.

Another choice is to hand-deliver the letter directly to the landlord or someone representing them and get a signed acknowledgment that they received it.

While text messages or emails can serve as informal documentation of your request, it's generally advisable to use a formal letter for legal matters like this.

The power of the deposit request letter

The return of the security deposit at the end of a tenancy is an important step that impacts both tenants and landlords. While most landlords intend to handle this process properly, sometimes disputes or misunderstandings arise. In such situations, a demand security deposit letter can help facilitate open communication and a fair resolution.

Following best practices, such as understanding your state's laws, documenting the facts, and allowing a reasonable response timeframe, increases the chances of a positive outcome. Furthermore, open and professional dialogue benefits everyone involved, helping to resolve issues in a timely manner.

Demand letter to landlord for security deposit FAQs

How do you politely ask for a deposit back?

To politely ask for a deposit back, send a formal letter to the landlord requesting the return of your security deposit. Include the details of your tenancy and mention that you've followed the lease and state laws. State a deadline for the deposit return and express your goal to resolve the matter amicably.

How do you write a deposit letter?

To write a deposit letter, start with a formal greeting and state your request for the return of your deposit. Include details like the rental address, move-out date, and a reference to relevant laws, and politely set a deadline for the deposit's return.

What is a demand letter for a security deposit in Georgia?

A demand letter for a security deposit in Georgia is a formal request from a tenant to a landlord to return the security deposit after tenancy ends, following state law guidelines.

Important Note: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be taken as legal, accounting, or tax advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for such services. Always consult your own legal, accounting, or tax counsel before taking any action based on this information.

Nichole Stohler

Nichole co-founded Gateway Private Equity Group, with a history of investments in single-family and multi-family properties, and now a specialization in hotel real estate investments. She is also the creator of NicsGuide.com, a blog dedicated to real estate investing.

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