The amount of time a landlord has to return a tenant's security deposit varies from state to state, as do the procedures required, such as a written itemized accounting of deductions for unpaid rent and property damage.
The statutory deadlines for landlords to return deposits by state are as follows (see your state security deposit laws for more specific details):
35 days after termination of tenancy and delivery of possession
14 days if the tenant gives proper notice of tenancy termination; 30 days if the tenant does not give proper notice.
One month, unless the lease agreement specifies a longer period of time (which may be no more than 60 days); 72 hours (not counting weekends or holidays) if a hazardous condition involving gas equipment requires the tenant to vacate.
30 days, or within 15 days of receiving the tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later.
District of Columbia:
15 to 60 days, depending on whether the tenant disputes any deductions from the deposit.
21 days or up to 30 days if the tenant and the landlord agree on the length
For properties with five or more units, 30 to 45 days--depending on whether the tenant disputes deductions from the security deposit or if an itemized statement and receipts are provided by the landlord.
30 to 60 days depending on whether or not the tenant disputes any deductions from the security deposit.
30 days (if written rental agreement) or 21 days (if tenancy at will).
Three weeks after the tenant has left the property and the landlord has received forwarding address; five days if the tenant had to leave the property because of building condemnation.
30 days; 10 days if there are no deductions from the security deposit.
30 days; for shared facilities, if the deposit is more than 30 days' rent, landlord must provide written agreement acknowledging receipt and specifying when deposit will be returned--if no written agreement, 20 days from the date the tenant vacates the property
30 days; five days in the event of fire, flood, building condemnation, or evacuation.
30 days; if landlord's claim against the deposit cannot be finalized within that time, landlord may send an interim accounting and a final accounting within 60 days of the tenancy's termination.
Two weeks and landlord must supply reasons if withholding any portion; 45 days for a written, itemized accounting if requested by tenant.
No statutory deadline to return; 10 days to itemize.
30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later; but if there is damage to the premises, 30 days.
60 days from the date the tenancy has terminated, or within 45 days of the occupancy of a subsequent tenant, whichever is shorter. If the damage exceeds the amount of the security deposit and the landlord has to hire a contractor to fix it, the notice period is extended 15 days. Applies only to rental agreements entered into on or after June 10, 2011.
30 days when applying it to unpaid rent (or within 15 days of receiving tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later); 60 days if there is damage to the property.