Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/28/2005 8:54:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 8:55:18 PM EDT by jake1978]
We moved from our rent house the first week of July, after a proper notice was given in writing. We are approaching 3 months from the move-out date, and have contacted the landlord numerous times by telephone regarding the deposit, or explanation of why it has not been returned. I copied the following from the Texas Residential Lease Agreement:

(d) Notices about Security Deposits.


4. The Property Code does not obligate a landlord to return or account for the security deposit until the tenant surrenders the Property and gives the landlord a written statement of the tenant’s forwarding address, after which the landlord has thirty (30) days in which to account.

It appears to say the landlord has 30 days to refund the deposit or provide an explanation why she hasn't, correct?

What course of action should we take on this? Certified letter first? Lawyer up?

Any legal eagles with advice?
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:56:53 PM EDT
U might get a judgement in court but then collecting another thing
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:58:41 PM EDT
See if there's a "renter's aid, renter's union" or assistance type program through the city or county that you moved from, they can advise you best. Depending on the amount small claims court is probably going to be where you end up.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 9:06:41 PM EDT
Why not go and see him in person with papers in hand. Talk firm and slightly loud like Gunny in FMJ and ask for you refund while being assertive. If you get the run around threaten legal action. Anyone can be blown off over the phone.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 9:08:58 PM EDT
You need to send a certified letter so there is a record of contacting them for the info. Make a copy of the letter you sent, of course. Say that the letter is to inform them that under the law they have to return your security deposit or give reason and any failure to return said deposit will result in legal action. Also state that this is final notice.

And then take them to court. In my state you can get double your loss plus court costs. Don't let them off the hook. They are figuring, like most, that you will give up and they can pocket the cash.

I have NEVER failed to get a security deposit back and a couple of times I had to get right up to the point where I was going to file suit. My wife and I have lived in 9 rental units prior to buying our home.
Once, I called the rental company, headquarters out of town, and talked to one person after another up the line. After the 3rd or 4th person I simply said I wanted to talk to the company President. That got them off their damn asses.
One thing for sure is that the flunkie that answers the phone is virtually never able to help with anything so don't waste time, have them move you on to someone who knows what the Hell is going on. I am generally very nice initially but when it is clear they are going to rip me off I can get pretty nasty. Nasty as in direct, show them they are not dealing with an idiot and that I know my rights and I will fight for them. It has always worked. Just had the American Acad of Family Practice try to rip me off for acouple of hundred bucks. I made short work of that.

I don't think you need an attorney, it is small claims. Just tell your story honestly and you will do fine.

Link Posted: 9/28/2005 9:17:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 9:23:39 PM EDT by crazyquik]
On July 31st I left my apt. I had all my ducks in a row of course.

In NC you have 30 days to return the deposit, or at least give a written account of why the deposit was kept.

September rolled around and hadn't got anything. Being a nice person, I gave them 7 extra days before sending a letter by certified mail which read



Dear __________, [put the landlord's name here, or leasing manager, because this is one of the people you'll take to court later...]

This letter is a request for the accounting of the security deposit that Crooked Theiving Landlord Apts is holding in their Trust Account for AR15fanatic, Apt 1234- from _____ through _______. [dates you lived there]
It is my understanding that by law, the Landlord (or Agent) must either send or deliver to me a full refund ($200.00 in this case), or give a written statement of any and all allowable deductions within 30 days of my vacating the apartment. Since Crooked Thieving Landlord Apts has failed to do so in that time period, I hereby request your immediate attention in this matter.

Respectfully,

crazyquik



I mailed it on a Tuesday and got a check on Friday, with an invoice I'm nearly sure they backdated (it was dated August 15 and I got it about Sept 9th). Be polite in the first letter.

If they didn't take that up, I was going to send a little bit firmer letter exactly 7 days later, with a little threat at the end citing which statues they had violating and then how this can be adjudicated, all by certified mail of course. I was then going to give them 7 more days before sueing them or contacting the state board (because I'm that nice and didn't need the money right then). You can technically file suit on the 31st day.

Something like


Under the terms of this section, as well as NCGS § 42 52, I feel that CrookedApartments is in breech of the lease as well as the law and hope that this can be easily resolved.

At this time I simply wish for my deposit to be returned. If for whatever reason my deposit cannot be returned, remedies as outlined in NCGS § 42 55 may be sought in the future.



That is the section where it says 30 days, and then 42-55 is where it says you can sue them to reclaim it in civil court. Google "texas rental deposit" and "texas rent deposit law" or something like that.

If you get this far, may want to mention that if they dont respond you will request a full investigation of thier bookkeeping practices by the state real estate commission. In my case, they would have got pinched on at least a half dozen bookkeeping things, and perhaps even 14 or so if you count how illegal thier lease was.

In New Jersey, if you take them to court and win you get double the deposit. In California, triple. Check your state, but in Texas, probably just the deposit itself.

They were betting that I was a stupid college kid, who didn't know his rights, didn't care about the deposit, or wouldnt' be willing to go back and ask for it. They were wrong. Keeping deposits is a sure way to fatten the piggybank for them, for doing absolutely nothing. It's literally free money.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 9:53:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By afman91201:
Why not go and see him in person with papers in hand. Talk firm and slightly loud like Gunny in FMJ and ask for you refund while being assertive. If you get the run around threaten legal action. Anyone can be blown off over the phone.



That is an option, but unfortunately, we don't live very close to them any longer. It is an individual, not an apartment company, so the likelihood of catching them at home is not worth the drive. Thats why I think a certified letter would be better.

What's weird is that they were the nicest people we've ever dealt with as far as landlords go, and even commented to my wife how nice we kept the house looking....
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 10:12:24 PM EDT
Most landlords have no stomach for an afternoon in small claims court - It costs them more in time than the deposit is worth.

If talk gets you nowhere, file a claim. You won't get your money until several days before you're scheduled to go to court.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:55:28 AM EDT
Check the state laws. In MA, where I had rental property a few years ago, if the deposit is not returned, or an itemized explaination of damage charges provided within 30 days the, they loose all claim to any part of the deposit, plus they are guilty of holding the funds illegally. A small claims suit will award up to 3x the amount in damages.

TX may have a similar law so it may be worthwhile to check it out.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:59:56 AM EDT
I'm surprised nobody has said it:

DRAW DOWN
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 7:02:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 7:03:50 AM EDT by SHIVAN]

Originally Posted By jake1978:
We moved from our rent house the first week of July, after a proper notice was given in writing. We are approaching 3 months from the move-out date, and have contacted the landlord numerous times by telephone regarding the deposit, or explanation of why it has not been returned. I copied the following from the Texas Residential Lease Agreement:

(d) Notices about Security Deposits.


4. The Property Code does not obligate a landlord to return or account for the security deposit until the tenant surrenders the Property and gives the landlord a written statement of the tenant’s forwarding address, after which the landlord has thirty (30) days in which to account.

It appears to say the landlord has 30 days to refund the deposit or provide an explanation why she hasn't, correct?

What course of action should we take on this? Certified letter first? Lawyer up?

Any legal eagles with advice?



Your statement leads me to believe you gave her proper notice that you were vacating. Did you fulfill your part of the above requirement about the other notices?

Did you give her a written statement of your forwarding address after you surrendered the property?

Phone calls are not a substitute, even if you leave your address on the message.

I would send a certified letter stating the date you surrendered the property, your new mailing address and a statement that you would like the payment back no later than 2 business weeks from the receipt of the letter.

If 10 BUSINESS days pass, and you haven't recieved the payment, then file a claim in small claims court. The clerk of the court should be able to assist.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 8:25:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gigmike:
See if there's a "renter's aid, renter's union" or assistance type program through the city or county that you moved from, they can advise you best. Depending on the amount small claims court is probably going to be where you end up.



Yeah, not certain w/TX, but my old landlord in OH tried returning $100 of my $300 deposit, AND it was close to 45 days. I had a lawyer friend (of my folks more than meA) draft a letter. In OHIO if they don't send an ITEMIZED list of WHY some of the deposit was withheld - they have to surrender the whole amount back, AND it has to be within 30 days. Not long after he syrrendered the other $200. Asshat.

Good luck. Mostly KNOW exactly the WHOLE of the law - I went to the library and the internet - both were quite useful. LOTS of books BOTH for "renters" AND "landlords" (usually one or the other as "target audiences" - sometimes both. Also Columbus, OHIO has a "Coulmus Urban League" that has the "do's and "don'ts" for both renters and landlords that was helpful, check to see if your area has something similar?
Top Top