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Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
Can you tell me what state this is in?
Did you give the landlord a forwarding address?
Were you actually late with the rent during the tenancy and didn't pay any late fees?
Ok, unfortunately, there is a 4 year statute of limitations on a breach of contract action, so he could legally charge for any late fees at the end of the lease and deduct them from any security deposit.
However, under CA law, the landlord has a legal duty to deliver an itemized list of any deductions from the security deposit and refund any balance within 21 days of the tenant returning the keys to the property. (California Civil Code §§ 1950.5).
So if it has been 5 weeks, he is WAY over the 21 day deadline in CA for refunding your deposit, and this would give you grounds to sue the landlord for three times (3X) the amount withheld in small claims court under a breach of contract action. So the landlord may have opened up a whole can of worms since he violated the security deposit law.