Houlton, ME asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maine

Q: If someone owed 2 months back rent does the landlord have to give back the deposit?

I brought them to court to have them removed. They still owe me rent plus late fees plus repairs. They are telling me I have to give back the deposit. I don't agree.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Fred Bopp III
Fred Bopp III
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Yarmouth, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: Depending on the numbers involved, you are likely correct. In a residential lease situation, the landlord can keep all or part of the tenant’s security deposit if there are damages to the property that aren’t just “normal wear and tear” and/or the tenant owes the landlord rent when the tenant moves out. The landlord can deduct these costs from the tenant’s security deposit. If these costs are less than the tenant’s security deposit, then the landlord has to return the money that is left over. If these costs are more than the tenant’s security deposit, then the landlord can keep the security deposit and could sue the tenant for the difference.

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