Security Deposits and Property Left Behind

How Do I Get My Security Deposit Back After I Move Out?

Security Deposit After Moving Out

NRS 118A.242 allows the landlord to claim from the security deposit any damages, other than ordinary wear and tear, cleaning fees, and unpaid rent. These deductions must be reasonable and lawful.

If your landlord fails to return the security deposit and fails to provide a written accounting of deductions to your security deposit within 30 days after you move out, you can sue the landlord. You must have provided your landlord with a forwarding address. You must be able to prove with documents or printed pictures that the landlord’s deductions were unreasonable or unwarranted. The landlord is liable to you for damages in an amount equal to the entire deposit and for a sum to be fixed by the court of not more than the amount of the entire deposit (e.g. twice the deposit). In awarding the above sum, a court can consider whether the landlord acted in good faith, the course of conduct between you and the landlord and the degree of harm caused by the landlord’s conduct. 

Security Deposits and New Landlords

The landlord is supposed to notify you of new landlord and that he has transferred your security deposit to the new landlord, or return your deposit less charges for damage, unpaid rent or cleaning (as discussed above), and notify the new landlord. If the former landlord transferred the deposit to the new landlord, then the new landlord must accept the deposit and cannot charge you an additional deposit during the term of the lease.

Other Deposits

Cleaning deposits, pet deposits and other deposits are usually not refundable because the landlord can use the entire deposit amount for reasonable cleaning services. However, you should carefully read the terms of your lease. The deposit can be nonrefundable as long as it is indicated to be both a non-security deposit and nonrefundable.

Holding deposits are fees paid to reserve a dwelling before you sign a lease. Many landlords will state these holding deposits become security deposits when you sign a lease, but if you do not sign they lease, they are usually not refundable. You should carefully read the terms of the holding deposit contract.

Nevada law allows a surety bond instead of a security deposit (although this is not common), but your landlord cannot require the bond and you cannot force the landlord to accept it. However, your landlord can evict you after your lease expires if you do not purchase a surety bond. If you and the landlord agree, you will pay an up-front fee for a surety bond that will cover the legal deductions normally paid by your security deposit. If you disagree with the charges, you must notify the surety bond company. The surety bond can sue you for damages.

What Happens To My Personal Property After I Am Evicted?

Under NRS 118A.460, the landlord must allow you five days after the eviction to retrieve your essential personal effects. Essential personal effects includes medication, ID, clothing, baby formula, and any other important item.  If your landlord does not do this, you can file an expedited motion with the court. You must do this within five days of the eviction. The court will hold a hearing within five days and could order the landlord to return your personal effects and award $2,500 if the landlord acted in bad faith.

For your other property, the landlord must store and keep your property for 30 days after you leave. If you do not retrieve the property within 30 days, the landlord can dispose of the property. The landlord must provide 14 days notice before disposing of the property. At a minimum, however, the landlord must wait until the 30th day after you left before legally disposing of property.

You can file a motion to contest property lien within 20 days of requesting the return of the property if your landlord refuses to allow you to retrieve the property.

The landlord may charge actual and reasonable storage, inventory, and moving fee before allowing you to pick up your personal property, but the landlord cannot charge back rent or any other fees.

You can file a motion to contest property lien within 20 days of requesting the return of the property if you dispute the landlord’s charges as unreasonable or unlawful.

If your personal property was stolen or destroyed, you can sue the landlord in small claims court for the value of the lost personal property.

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