I moved for the first time in decades, and did my best to leave the place in good shape (I always took care of the apartment, painted, did repairs, etc.). My landlord passed away a while back, a family member is running the six unit building. Anyway, after I left she sent a very hostile letter saying I wouldn't get my security deposit back because some things were left behind (much of which was there when I moved in), even complained because there were a few coat hangers in a closet. She also claimed the movers did damage, but all they did was track in some dirt, the damage was there already. Plus, I don't think I have to pay to renovate the place.
Anyway, I don't mind giving up the security deposit to cover the costs (and to avoid the hassle), but she's implied that she might try to bill me for other costs. I'm not sure how the law works (I'm in Massachusetts), but does anyone know the law about such things?
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In CA there are items which the landlord must send to include information detailing what is being deducted and receipts (per deduction).
Also, more than a few things are subject to normal wear and tear after a given amount of time (condition of carpet based on the original purchase date, condition of paint - both of which must be proved by receipt). Oh yes, and that paint -if the landlord painted the space his/her self and has receipts only for paint, they cannot charge the occupant for labor to repaint.
Finally, if the landlord is belligerent about giving back the deposit, they can be responsible for something like up to 3x the original deposit, plus the deposit and other fees (lawyer fees/time required to take the landlord to court - including prep time).
My daughter just went through this and as a Master's candidate, she knows how to research facts.
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"Television is called a medium because nothing on it is well done." -- Fred Allen
My dad had rental properties in Colorado and had to litigate at least two cases. I went to the trial for one.
Both times the judges were very liberal in their view of ordinary wear and tear and what constituted damage. They tossed out some of dad's claims. But overall he had strong cases - mostly because they involved overt acts by the tenants or in one case, they let a plumbing issue become a problem because they just didn't bother to call and let him know about the issue.
Do you have pictures of the before and after to show the items you left were not yours? That would really help. Hopefully you have pictures of how you left the place.
We'll see if any of the attorneys respond. I'd think that I'd challenge the letter making it clear that the items you left where there when you moved in and were lent to you by the original landlord. I'd state that the other damage fell under ordinary wear and tear.
Do google and get the landlord tenant law for the state and see if there is a specific timeframe for responding to her letter.... don't let that timeline pass. Send your letter certified mail.
Based on what my kids went through with off-site housing while in college, a lot of landlords are more bark then bite. Once they got a demand letter the money generally showed up.
If the property is in North Carolina and can send you the name of a really tough attorney that does this sort of work (on both sides).
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Here is a starting point.
"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" ✡ I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
If you were there a long time, I'd guess that a judge would tell the landlord that they should expect to repaint and re-carpet.
I've heard, but not confirmed, NC requires bedrooms to be repainted after a tenant moves out.
Makes it important to know the state specific rules.
I would not give up on your deposit unless it is a huge hassle for you to get back to that general area. Look at filing in a small claims court. Hey, maybe you'll end in on Judge Judy or Peoples Court and get an appearance fee. LOL
Speak softly and carry a
I don't know why I'm so interested in this but here are some thoughts...
Is the list compliant with the provisions of the statutes? Specifically "the lessor shall provide to the tenant within such thirty days an itemized list of damages, sworn to by the lessor or his agent under pains and penalties of perjury..."
If not, I'd wait the 30 days and demand full refund. If you don't get the refund, then sue.
> I'd argue the notice did not meet the statutory requirements and is thus disregarded.
> As backup, require that the landlord show the funds were maintained in a separate account. It appears the law says that failure to follow this requirement means the Landlord many not retain any portion of the deposit.
I'm not an attorney and I didn't stay at Holiday Inn Express..... but it looks like you can make life interesting for this landlord.
P.S. did you notice the 3x provision if you win?
Speak softly and carry a
This landlord is handling your security deposit illegally.
You don't mess with security deposits in this state. The courts are very unforgiving.
I would contact them and give them a chance to pay up if you feel charitable, but the minute they contact their own attorney, they will change their tune. They now owe you at least your security deposit plus interest and penalties.
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Your security deposit is also not just what you originally left. They are also responsible for interest on the security.
When I rented I always took pictures of the place empty before I moved in highlighting any damage just for that reason.
Use thumb-size bullets to create fist-size holes.
The landlord tenant laws are different in each state, but generally favor the tenant.
I've been a landlord since 2009 and have 5 tenants. You expect normal wear and tear, but no damage. After 6 years, I would expect to paint. I would expect to clean the carpets, possibly even replace them if they weren't nearly new when the tenant moved in 6 years earlier. I wouldn't expect holes in the walls, doors, broken cabinets from abuse or things of that nature and would charge for that. IMO if everything is as you say, your security deposit should be returned. Go to the state link at the bottom, read HOW you need to contact the landlord for the return of the deposit and interest, follow the law and tell the landlord that you have resided there 6 years and painting and etc. is normal wear and tear and you expect to receive your security deposit back. Then take her to court if you need to.
Below are taken from the Massachusetts state website:
"The landlord must make sure that the tenant is given a legible copy of the lease or rental agreement. The lease must not include illegal terms such as:
The tenant must pay for the cost of repairing ordinary wear and tear to the apartment.
All security deposits must be deposited in a Massachusetts bank, in an account that collects interest, and within the first month of the tenancy. The landlord must provide the tenant with the name and address of the bank holding the security deposit, plus the account number. Each year, the landlord must either pay the tenant the interest on the security deposit or let the tenant deduct that amount from a rent payment.
The landlord should give the tenant a “statement of condition” within 10 days of the beginning of the tenancy or upon receipt of the security deposit (whichever is later), which describes the condition of the apartment and any damage that exists at that time. The tenant has 15 days to add to the “statement of condition” or make changes to it. Both parties should keep copies of the final “statement of condition.”
When the tenancy ends, the landlord must return the security deposit, plus interest, within 30 days. However, the landlord may keep any unpaid rent or the amount of money needed to repair damage done to the apartment (beyond normal wear and tear). If the lease provides for it, the landlord may also deduct the tenant’s share of any increase in the landlord’s property taxes."
Am I the only one who has had a walk through with the land lord/ apartment manager from each place I rented? Day of moving, provided an estimated completion time, and had a walk through.
Blaming the crime on the gun, is like blaming a bad story on the pencil.
Every time I've moved out of an apartment, I've given at least 60 days notice and asked for a walkthrough/inspection date. Every single time the agreed date comes around - no staff available and the deposit is forfeited because they falsely claim damage or cleaning was necessary.
|That rug really tied |
the room together.
She does that with everyone, guaranteed. Gets to keep a nice tidy profit for herself, because 9 out of 10 people will just take it and not complain.
Call the bitch on it. Send he a well written demand letter. Sound knowledgeable. Know the laws. Demand the full amount or you will use the court system.
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For future reference, ALWAYS a walk-thru and photos on move-in and move-out. If they refuse a walk thru, document and photos anyway.
Had a single family house managed by a professional company from 2009-2017, and we did not repaint between any of the tenants. If that's a rule, either we broke it without an issue, or it's new.
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About 10-11 years ago, while we were waiting on our house to be completed, we rented a house. The landlord was, to be blunt, a dick.
We had two hurricanes move through within a week, dumping lots of rain on us. Our driveway washed out to the point of being unusable. I contacted the landlord and was told it was my responsibility to repair the drive. I told him that was not my responsibility, and was promptly served with eviction papers.
The magistrate over small claims court told the landlord that the only thing his tenants were responsible for was changing light bulbs, and that was only because most people didn't want to sit in the dark.
When we moved out, he didn't even argue about the deposit. He kept enough to cover the shelf in the fridge being broken and itemized it on the paper that came with the check.
He did take the judge's advice and study up on how to be a landlord, because he didn't have a clue when we first moved in.
Here's to the sunny slopes of long ago.
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The landlord is trying to scam you.
I am a landlord, of one small property.
They are supposed to spell out exactly what the issue is, what the repair costs are and in some states IIRC they must show estimates and/or receipts.
They can't just keep your deposit and tell you "tough shit", it doesn't work that way.
And yes, if you have had this deposit with them for a long time, you should have some decent interest which they are legally required to give to you as well.
That kind of landlord behavior really pisses me off and unfortunately many landlords around here keep all deposit just as a matter of course.
I have apartments and more often than not refund ALL of the damage deposit, I don't believe we've ever kept an entire deposit? 30 days before they are scheduled to move out I detail to the tenants exactly what we expect which is it should be clean like it was when they moved in and to pay particular attention to the bathroom and kitchen. If they hung any pictures do NOT try to patch the holes, because I've found they do more damage trying to fill them in and we can fix them ourselves in a few minutes.
If the apartment is left basically clean and good condition we spend about 2 to 2 1/2 hours cleaning it again ourselves including shampooing the carpet and touching up paint. We don't keep any of their deposit until it goes beyond two and one half hours, and as I said most get their entire deposit back along with a note describing how clean it was and thanking them for taking such good care of our property.
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While this might be true for PA, the OP resides in another state. Here in UT, we have no obligation to pay interest or obtain outside bids for repairs. What would the interest be anyway? The going savings rate has been a fraction of a percent for sometime now.
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