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How long can your landlord hold your security deposit?

NC state law reveals your landlord needs to hand over all or some of your deposit within 30 days.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's what you have to do to get services like water or electricity, you put down money. A security deposit is a common thing to have to pay when you get an apartment. When you're done with that business deal, when do you get your money back?

2WTK got an email this morning:
I have moved out of my apartment but have not received my deposit.
I emailed the landlord and he tells me 30 days, but he's already renting my apartment out!

NC has a state law that covers that very question. It's called the Landlord-Tenant Security Deposit Act. The landlord has 30 days to respond. If the landlord gives you some of the money, they then have another 30 days to give the rest to you.

If the landlord isn't responding to you at all, legal experts said you can take them to small claims court.

“Particularly if they don't do anything for 30 days, the act says they then can't keep any of it and may have to pay the attorney’s fees,” said Edward Sharp of Legal Aid of NC.

Another common question we get is:
Can my landlord raise my rent? Aren't we still in a pandemic?

Know this-- the pandemic has no impact on whether or not your landlord raises your rent. The landlord can raise your rent once your lease is up. However, they cannot raise the rent in the middle of the lease.

2 Wants To Know gets a lot of landlord-tenant questions. The number one: Can I withhold my rent until my landlord makes repairs? No.
The bottom line, you cannot withhold rent as a bargaining chip. When you stop paying rent, you're the one in breach of contract, not your landlord.