Landlord has not returned deposit check within 30 days time?

Landlord has not returned deposit check within 30 day time?
I rented an apartment in Canonsburg, Pa and put up with flooding, heating issues, and lack of maintenance problems for the entire year of my lease, but I sucked it up. My lease ended on the 30 of April 2010. I went into the landlord’s office on the 29th with my keys and information regarding where to send the deposit check. I had her write it down, read it back to me, and watched her place it in my file. Two weeks later I was informed by an old neighbor that new tenants had moved in. I call my landlord 6 times and left messages to see where we were in the process of getting my deposit back. The constant calling was the only way I got anything done with them. I left messages repeatedly and received no response back. On the 24th of May I sent a letter stating my concerns and continued calling daily for the next week. I finally got an answer by calling from my friend’s phone on the 6th of June. I was informed that “the check was cut” on the 28th of April. (I believe this to be a lie as it doesn’t take two weeks for a letter to travel 2 1/2 hrs from Pittsburgh to Greensburg PA)

I was counseled by a friend that it is PA law that the landlord get the deposit in full or in part back to me with a list of damages, if any, within 30 days or they pay double. I called and left a message to this fact. I was informed by the landlord today (the 10 of June) that cutting the check was all she had to do and it was in the mail. I asked if it would be possible to void the check as it appeared ot be lost in the system and I could use my time and gas expense to drive to pick up a new one. She responded she would not void the check until it came out of the postal service to her or me. This might never happen.

I have filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General of PA’s bureau of consumer protection office. And I have informed my Landlord I have taken action.

I was unable to pay my bills on time due to this and if by law I am owed then I think this is right.

My real question is. . . Is there anything else I should do at this point? And has anyone else been through this.

PS I am watching for the check still in the mail and even if it does show up I will be documenting the time, date, and also take pictures of the post mark on the envelope.

Posted in Landlord Tenant Law.


  1. It sounds like you are doing everything within your legal rights to handle this in the best way possible. If you want to try to expedite this, then I would start putting some calls to the Attorney General’s office. You can also try the Better Business Bureau in that city, they are usually pretty good about dealing with problems regarding money, especially if you have gone about the right way of documenting things and contacting other offices such as the attorney general.

  2. Go to small claims court and start proceedings to recover double the amount of the deposit. There isn’t much point to still waiting on a check that she “says” was mailed over a month ago. You should have no problem winning your case.

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