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Ugly Case: Landlord refusing to return deposit.

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Ugly Case: Landlord refusing to return deposit.

Postby collegestudent » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:20 am

Hello everyone,

I'm currently filing a small claims charge against my previous landlord for him refusing to return any of my security deposit. The problem is that there isn't a lot of documented information - there's no lease (the landlord put off giving the lease to me until saying that he had reason not to), and I trusted his word when he said he'd give back the deposit after walking with him around the apartment (he had approved of the apartment). The last part means that I hadn't taken pictures of the apartment upon cleaning it (right before he checked it - time was very tight for me). So yes, I was naive, I accept that - the landlord-tenant relationship had started off as a supposed friendship - and it won't happen again. Never. On to the present stuff.

The landlord is refusing to return the deposit because he thinks that my sister and I should have paid him more while we stayed there - we stayed for 1.5 months at an agreed $1000/month (he accepted and deposited the checks; I have copies of the checks and proof of their amount being withdrawn). However, in response to my filing against him, he's countersuing me now, claiming an additional $1400 plus interest in addition to damages to the apartment. The agreement was a verbal agreement, but it should be backed by the copies of the checks.

If there were any damages at all, they weren't any more than the wear-and-tear of ordinary use. My sister and I were careful about that, and so I'm afraid of the landlord fabricating this charge (if he's just charging a little extra to be spiteful, that's not too bad) in order to withhold the deposit or even charge beyond the security deposit's worth.

Anyways, I'm wondering if anybody here has any experience with this kind of thing. This landlord had also threatened to more than double the rent and not return the deposit if my sister and I didn't move out in five days after notification, which is what we did (I now know that he couldn't have kicked us out for not agreeing to that amount before 30 days) - though I don't know if this information will help our case or even add an extra charge against him. I've certainly learned a lot from this experience, but I'm willing to learn from what anybody else has to say, especially about legal outcomes.


(Sorry if this is long!)
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:00 am

Postby concord » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:01 am

You should clarify a few things first.

1. For how long did you occupy the apt?
2. How much money did you give the LL in total?
3. Do you have proof (checks or other form of payment) for that total amount?
4. Exactly what damages is the LL claiming to have occurred?
5. Has a new tenant occupied that apt since your departure?

Emotional perspectives and things that were said don’t matter much here.
Respond with things that you can back up with documents.
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 3:40 pm

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