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A husband and wife signed a residential lease agreement and provided a $2,500 security deposit to the property manager. During the term of the lease, the husband and wife separated and ultimately divorced. The wife continued to reside in the property, but the tenancy has now ended. The property is in pristine condition and the property manager intends to refund the security deposit in full. Both the husband and wife have demanded the full security deposit.


Should the property manager issue the security deposit to the wife since she resided in the home the longest?


See discussion.


Since both the husband and wife initially signed the lease as tenants, the security deposit should be refunded to both the husband and wife. In the absence of an order from the divorce court to the contrary, the check should be jointly payable to both the husband and the wife.