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43-32-24Return of security deposit after termination of tenancy--Withholding--Itemized accounting--Forfeiture of withholding rights--Punitive damages.

Every lessor of residential premises shall, within two weeks after the termination of the tenancy and receipt of the tenant's mailing address or delivery instructions, return the security deposit to the tenant, or furnish to the tenant, a written statement showing the specific reason for the withholding of the deposit or any portion thereof. The lessor may withhold from such deposit only such amounts as are reasonably necessary to remedy tenant defaults in the payment of rent or of other funds due to the landlord pursuant to an agreement or to restore the premises to their condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted. Within forty-five days after termination of the tenancy, upon request of the lessee, the lessor shall provide the lessee with an itemized accounting of any deposit withheld.

Any lessor of residential premises who fails to comply with this section shall forfeit all rights to withhold any portion of such deposit.

The bad faith retention of a deposit or any portion of a deposit by a lessor of residential premises in violation of this section, including failure to provide the written statement and itemized accounting required by this section, shall subject the lessor to punitive damages not to exceed two hundred dollars.

Source: SL 1976, ch 267, § 3; SL 1984, ch 281, § 1.

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