Tenants did NOT provide a forwarding address. Can I keep security deposit??

I started another thread in this forum about the nightmares I’ve been going through (some of which brought on myself so I’m not saying I’m not to blame at all) regarding some tenants that just moved out. They have been threatening me and sending me lots of emails of all the nasty things the plan to pursue against me when I overlooked a LOT of the issues that occurred while they lived there because at the time they seemed like good people. It’s only now that I’m finding out they are anything but.

I was going to invoice all of the damages and finally decided against that and decided to give them all of their money back just to have them out of my life and be done with it. Well, in trying to locate a forwarding address to send a certified letter containing the refunded security deposit it occurred to me that they haven’t supplied a forwarding address. Perhaps they mentioned it or assumed I knew what it was since I knew what area he was building a new house in but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. So, if I can’t find it then I can only assume they didn’t supply one. If they did then they didn’t do it in such a manner that they would have proof that they did. In the lease we all singed one of the stipulations is that they supply a forwarding address. There is no deadline but it is assumed that it is within the 15 days that I had to return the deposit, correct? Wouldn’t it be safe to say that they did not supply a forwarding address which forfeited the security deposit? If I kept the entire deposit wouldn’t the onus be on them to prove in small claims court that they did indeed supply me with a forwarding address? Is this considered enough of a reason to forfeit security deposit in the eyes of small claims court or will they ask why I didn’t do due diligence to request the address myself?

I was going to give all their money back but I would have to leave for the post office now so that a certified letter gets to them before the last day the security deposit is due back and, after how they’ve treated me, I really don’t feel the urge to call them to get a forwarding address.

What do you think? Keep the security deposit and make them take me to small claims court at which point I state that they never provided a forwarding address so the forfeited the deposit and let them try to prove they supplied a forwarding address?

Only a few states require the tenant to provide a forwarding address. If yours isn’t one, then you must account for the deposit per your state’s laws.