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Landlord not returning Security Deposit

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Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby eddi3johns » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:20 pm

Hi Guys please help us out here.

We rented an apartment on 15sept and paid 2 months deposit to the owner. After 3-4 days we found there were bed bugs in the house and we contacted the owner to do pest control in our house. He kept delaying it saying that we have requested a pest control company but they are busy and will be soon coming to the house.

In the meantime the menace of bedbugs was increasing day by day and we had to throw our beds and some other things too due to that. Finally on 3oct we decided to vacate the house as no pest control was done on the house and we had skin infections due to bed bugs.

We told the owner that due to bed bugs we have health issue and are leaving the house, please pay our deposit back. He said we needed to give him a months notice in advance. There was no lease agreement between us. We reminded him and he kept delaying it saying its under process.

We agreed and gave him a formal notice of 1 month (i.e. till 3 Nov). When we emailed him back asking for our deposit on 4 Nov he is saying that we had to return him the keys which we did not. He says that after we return the keys he will give the deposit back deducting another 15 days of rent.

What can be done in this case ? Can someone please help ?
eddi3johns
 
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Re: Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby TenantNet » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:47 am

You do have to return the keys in order to return possession.

However it does sound as if they LL is giving you the run-around. If the place was not able to be occupied, that is termed constructive eviction.

You may have to take the LL to court in the area where the house is. In the meantime you should document the bedbug problem. Keep evidence, take many photos, Have an expert give you an estimate in writing - they should be able to confirm the existence of the bedbugs.
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Re: Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby eddi3johns » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:03 am

TenantNet wrote:You do have to return the keys in order to return possession.

However it does sound as if they LL is giving you the run-around. If the place was not able to be occupied, that is termed constructive eviction.

You may have to take the LL to court in the area where the house is. In the meantime you should document the bedbug problem. Keep evidence, take many photos, Have an expert give you an estimate in writing - they should be able to confirm the existence of the bedbugs.


But we were paying the rent till 3nov. Hence the property is ours, isnt it ? So why do we need to return the keys? Also we are not from this country we dont know about this law. Shoudn't LL notify us atleast once about that thing?
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Re: Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby TenantNet » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:45 am

Your initial post isn't clear. If you paid rent for the month of November, then yes, you have the right of possession until the end of the month.

As for moving out, you still have to return keys to transfer possession. If the LL accepts it, then the change in possession depends on what both parties can negotiate.

Be aware of notice requirements. See viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5024 where outside NYC, either party can terminate a tenancy on one month's written notice.
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Re: Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby eddi3johns » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:53 am

TenantNet wrote:Your initial post isn't clear. If you paid rent for the month of November, then yes, you have the right of possession until the end of the month.

As for moving out, you still have to return keys to transfer possession. If the LL accepts it, then the change in possession depends on what both parties can negotiate.

Be aware of notice requirements. See viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5024 where outside NYC, either party can terminate a tenancy on one month's written notice.


We vacated the house on 6 Oct, but our 1 month notice was expiring on 3 nov. We were Paying rent till 3 nov. If the owner had asked for it we would have given the keys, but he did not ask for it. We had Kept the Keys only till 3 nov as our notice period was ending on 3 nov.


Also ,if there are bedbugs in the house can we immediately vacate the house without giving one months notice ?
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Re: Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby TenantNet » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:36 pm

Why the third of November and not October 31st?

You say you were "paying rent till 3 nov," but that's still unclear. Was the last payment you made on or near October 3 and covered the period until Nov. 3rd?

Was the lease ore agreement that the term each month ran from the third of onw month until the second of the next month?

Did you return the keys on Nov 3rd? That's also unclear from your post.
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Re: Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby eddi3johns » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:02 pm

TenantNet wrote:Why the third of November and not October 31st?

You say you were "paying rent till 3 nov," but that's still unclear. Was the last payment you made on or near October 3 and covered the period until Nov. 3rd?

Was the lease ore agreement that the term each month ran from the third of onw month until the second of the next month?

Did you return the keys on Nov 3rd? That's also unclear from your post.



We rented apartment on 15 sep and at that day we paid him 2 months as deposit and half months rent in advance. In total we paid him 2.5 months rent. (example if 1 months rent was $100, we paid $250).

On Oct 3 we gave him a formal notice that we want to leave the apartment. The notice period was one month (i.e. till Nov 3). We vacated the apartment on Oct 6, but we did not return the keys yet as we did not know about that thing. However as our notice period was going on we were paying the rent till Nov 3. So in a way the apartment was still ours.

Now when we are asking for the deposit back which is roughly of 1 month (in context with example it is $100), the owner is saying that as we did not give the keys he wont return the deposit. He will deduct another 15 days of rent just because we gave him the keys on Nov 3.
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Re: Landlord not returning Security Deposit

Postby TenantNet » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:19 pm

If you paid 2 mon. deposit plus half month rent on 9/15, then the term of each rental period is from the first of each month. (not the third)

Although I don't have the citation readily available, I have seen statements that unless specifically reserved in a lease, it's assumed the monthly rental period start on the first of each month.

Your notice to the LL does not depend on the term dates. However, if you give 30 days written notice on the 3rd of October, for example, it would be effective on the first rent payment date after the 30 days expire (Dec. 1).

However, in practical terms, as the 3rd is so close to the 1st, unless you're in court, I would sort of assume the termination would be effective on Nov 1st. Of course a LL might dispute that.

Despite what you say above, while you may have actually paid rent on Oct 3, it was FOR the term commencing Oct 1st through Oct 31st.

So if you paid rent through the end of October, the place was still legally yours to use. If you chose to actually leave on Oct 6th, that doesn't change things.

And you still would be obligated to return possession (the keys) to the LL at the end of the term (Oct 31). If you were a few days late in returning keys, a picky LL could hold you to that.

IMHO, you should still have a right to your complete deposit unless there's some physical damages.

But here it seems the LL is not disputing the dates on your termination notice, but the actual failure to return the keys by the end of the October month. If he wants to get picky over three days, then perhaps he should deduct 3 days and not two weeks.
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