When must a landlord return my security deposit when I gave proper notice of termination?
Here is an excerpt from the law in Washington DC regarding the return of security deposits. It is quite clear with regard to the landlord's obligation to return the funds:
309.1 Within forty-five (45) days after the termination of the tenancy, the owner shall do one of the following: Tender payment to the tenant, without demand, any security deposit and any similar payment paid by the tenant as a condition of tenancy in addition to the stipulated rent, and any interest due the tenant on that deposit or payment as provided in §311; or Notify the tenant in writing, to be delivered to the tenant personally or by certified mail at the tenant's last known address, of the owner's intention to withhold and apply the monies toward defraying the cost of expenses properly incurred under the terms and conditions of the security deposit agreement.
309.2 The owner, within thirty (30) days after notification to the tenant pursuant to the requirement of §309.1(b), shall tender a refund of the balance of the deposit or payment, including interest, not used to defray such expenses, and at the same time give the tenant an itemized statement of the repairs and other uses to which the monies were applied and the cost of each repair or other use.
309.3 Failure by the owner to comply with §309.1 and §309.2 of this section shall constitute prima facie evidence that the tenant is entitled to full return, including interest as provided in §311, of any deposit or other payment made by the tenant as security for performance of his or her obligations or as a condition of tenancy, in addition to the stipulated rent.
309.4 Failure by the owner to serve the tenant personally or by certified mail, after good faith effort to do so, shall not constitute a failure by the owner to comply with §309.1 and §309.2 of this section.
SOURCE: The Housing Regulations of the District of Columbia, 5G DCRR §2908. C.O. 55-1503 (August 11, 1955); as amended by §3 of the Security Deposit Act, D.C. Law 1-40, 22 DCR 2823 (November 28, 1975).
310 RETURN OF SECURITY DEPOSIT: INSPECTION OF PREMISES
310.1 In order to determine the amount of the security deposit or other payment to be returned to the tenant, the owner may inspect the dwelling unit within three (3) days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, before or after the termination of the tenancy.
310.2 The owner shall conduct the inspection, if the inspection is to be conducted, at the time and place of which notice is given to the tenant.
310.3 The owner shall notify the tenant in writing of the time and date of the inspection.
310.4 The notice of inspection shall be delivered to the tenant, or at the dwelling unit in question, at least ten (10) days before the date of the intended inspection.
SOURCE: The Housing Regulations of the District of Columbia, 5G DCRR §2908, CO. 55-1503 (August 11, 1955); as amended by §3 of the Security Deposit Act, D.C. Law 1-48, 22 OCR 2823 (November28, 1975).
As far as the payment of pro-rated or partial rent for the part of the month actually occupied, you may want to refer to your written lease. It may contain some language that would control whether or not you would be responsible for a full month's rent even if you only occupy for part of it.
However, it is not uncommon that with adequate notice of termination, that rent be pro-rated for the time actually in the rented space.