I recently moved from an apartment complex. Well past 30 days after my move-out we have received no contact from the property management of any sort. They had been provided phone, email and forwarding address.
If they're going to keep any part of the deposit for any reason, my local law (Iowa) requires them to send written notice of explanation within 30 days, or they must forfeit withholding any of the deposit. (It does not mean they can't bill me afterwards). See: https://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=billinfo&Service=IowaCode&input=562A#562A.12
I sent them a letter by certified mail, to central management of the entire company, requesting the specific amount to be returned, along with all dates (move in, deposit given, move out, etc), and requested a response within 5 business days. It's been several weeks since they received the letter, but they have still failed to contact me at all.
I left them a voicemail requesting them to contact me by a certain reasonable time, and that I'll be seeking legal counsel and proceeding to court if that doesn't happen.
What would normally come next in this process, when the law is clear I'm owed my deposit?
Do deposit disputes just go to small claims court, or do I need to do something else first to establish a case?
What documentation do you typically need to support a deposit dispute?