Yes, as you can hear, it has become customary for landlords to keep the tenant’s security deposit at the end of the lease, whether or not there are any damages to the property. In this article, we are going to analyze what the security deposit is and, above all, how to avoid losing it when renting a property.

What is the security deposit? It is an amount that the tenant gives to the landlord as a guarantee for different breaches of the contract, such as non-payment of the monthly rent or damages to the furniture of the house. It is regulated by the Law of Urban Leases (LAU).

What amount can I be asked for? The equivalent to 1 month of the monthly rent, which the owner must deposit in the INCASÒL, and two more monthly payments as an additional guarantee. In total, three monthly rent payments: If we pay 1000 euros of rent, they can make us pay 3000 euros at the most.

Why do they have to pay back my deposit? The security deposit functions as a guarantee, so it has to be returned to the tenant at the end of the contract. For the landlord to keep part of the security deposit, he must prove that there have been breaches of the contract (failure to pay the rent, delivery of the apartment with damages, etc), and these damages must be attributable to the tenant.

So why don’t landlords return the security deposit? It is very easy for the landlord to keep money that is already in his possession and tenants are often unaware of their rights. In addition, the landlord may hire trusted professionals to make up absurd or fabricated invoices showing the supposed damages generated by the tenant in the property.

What preventive measures can I take to avoid them taking my security deposit?

  1. When you sign a lease contract, it is in your interest that a photographic report is made to check the condition of the property. Insist that this report be included as an annex to the contract. Make sure that the report reflects the real state of the property.
  2. When you enter the property, make your photographic report. Don’t be lazy, take pictures of all the rooms and places in the house. Take enlarged photographs of the damages. Put these photos together in a PDF, add a written list of the damages, and send them to the owner by e-mail within 15 days.
  3. During the time you are renting, inform the owner of any damage generated and that is not a small repair or damage generated by misuse. Do it by e-mail, so that there is a record.
  4. If you make repairs or repairs that do not concern you, notify the landlord beforehand, giving him a period to do them (at least 30 days). Always ask for an invoice for the work, and send it to the landlord by e-mail requesting payment or a reduction of the monthly rent.
  5. On the day of handing over the keys of the property, make another photographic report, as complete as possible, showing the state of the property. Ask for a key handover document to be signed stating that the property is being handed over without any damage. Do not sign the document if there is a defect that you do not recognize.


What should I do if it has been a month since I left the apartment and the deposit has not been returned?

  1. Try an amicable negotiation first. It may be that the landlord has «lost track of things» or is waiting for INCASÒL to return the deposit that was deposited at the time. Send him an e-mail requesting the return of the deposit.
  2. If he does not respond or makes excuses for not returning it to you (exorbitant invoices, invented photographs…), you will have to send him a Burofax. You can do it on your own, but it is advisable to hire a lawyer to do it. The cost is low, and the owner will take you seriously.
  3. If they do not respond to the burofax or do not want to negotiate in any way the return of the deposit, it will be necessary to file a lawsuit claiming the amount. To do so, you will always have our team of lawyers at your disposal at 934998696 and the e-mail address