Post # 1
My FI and I lived in a wonderful house/apartment for a year. We moved out of this place this august and his sister lived there for a year or two until we moved in. It seemed for a while that the landlord wouldn’t give her the deposit back but after some prodding they did, and now we think it was solely because we were moving in next and in order to keep us from not moving in they would have to.
But here is the problem, when we moved out we seriously did the most thorough cleaning. No. Joke. I vacuumed all the ceilings and the walls and the floors. I cleaned every surface that could possibly be wiped (ceiling fans, cabinets, bathroom shower, sink, mirrors, toilet) I even cleaned inside the cabinets and we made sure to follow the contract and steam clean the floors. We kept the receipt to show them. It was seriously cleaner then when we moved in because his sister didn’t even steam clean the floors or clean the toilet or shower (at least it didn’t look like it).
A few days after we moved out they went into apartment to take a final look at it and so we could give them back their keys. They said everything looked great and that they would send us our deposit check in the mail with our final bills (which as soon as I heard that I was like “wtf” because our electric and gas bill was being sent to my new house) so I waited. I paid my final bills and never got anything from them. We’ve called them three times with no reply and it’s been three full months. The second time I called him I told him that I have not yet received the $500 back (which we could really use for the wedding) and that I expect a list of reasons why they won’t give it back if they don’t want to send it…or at least a phone call.
I don’t know what to do now. They STILL haven’t even called. I don’t know where they live though I’m sure I could look it up. I’m enragad. They have no reason not to give it back or to even call me. And it’s not like its just $100 (which I would probably still be mad about) but half a grand is a lot of money. My FFIL offered to call them but I’m not sure how much that’s going to help. What do you think, is there any way I can solve this. I don’t think I want to go to court but what if that’s our only option?
Post # 3
Check the terms of the lease and how long they have to send it. Then send them a certified letter so you can PROVE they received it telling them they need to send you back your check and itemize out any and all deductions from the security deposit.
If they do not respond to that, then you may have to take legal action.
Post # 4
I’d send a certified letter letting them know that you have not received your deposit and insist on hearing from them by X date. If you do not, you’ll be taking legal action. Usually, just the threat of going to court is enough to motivate someone.
Post # 5
@SweetRose2011: I think it’s illegal for the landlord to keep your deposit like that
I googled this for Illinois landlord trouble
Post # 6
Do some searching around for the laws of your state. In Ohio, for example, if your landlord keeps your security deposit for more than 30 days after you move out without sending you a reasonable itemized list of deductions, you get TRIPLE what was wrongfully withheld. It is a state-by-state thing… but I’d bet that you have some legal clinics around you that you could get some advice from.
Post # 7
@missfireslayer: Thank you so much. That helps a lot. I think I’m going to send them the letter now and give them a date to respond by. If it doesn’t happen I think I would have to resort to solving it legally.
Post # 8
@SweetRose2011: Make sure you send the letter via certified mail (where they have to sign for it) so you can PROVE they got it and they can’t claim to have “never received it”.
Post # 9
I hate saying this – but you might want to try having your FFIL call first. As much as I haaaaate that this is true, sometimes people (particularly older ones) will simply take a man more seriously. If that doesn’t work, send the letter and begin looking into legal action.
Post # 10
@MeghanV: Oh no I don’t hate the idea. I just didn’t know how childish that would make me sound ya know, like hey I’m having my FI’s daddy do it because we can’t. But the older authority makes sense as my landlord is older.
Post # 11
okay look at this… its the illinois renters rights. http://www.renters-rights.com/html/deposits.html
if im reading it right… your landlord owes you 1000 dollars! its double what the deposit was if he doesnt get it back to you in 45 days! it also says something else about interest but i dont know if that applies…. lawyer mumbo jumbo.. hehe
Post # 12
In my state, there is free legal help to get deposits like this back. Check into it – if your state has good tenant protection, you may be able to take them to small claims court for free. Of course, in my state, deposits are at least a month’s rent, which tends to be $1400 and way up, so maybe they implemented those rules because of the sheer amount of cash involved!
Post # 13
I agree with the certified letter. They said that they would send it to you in the walk through, so they can’t back out later unless there was damage they didn’t see, which is highly unlikely. Send them the letter certified mail and let them know that you have left numerous messages, and that you expect to receive the deposit by a certain date or you will hire an attorney. Check the lease to make sure they don’t still have time left to send it to you first, but it sounds like they are dragging this out. 30 days after your last day is standard.
Our landlord had 30 days after the last day of our final month living there to send it to us. You are not expected to live in an apartment and not make an impact – normal wear and tear is expected and in many states you should be protected.
I got ticked off with our landlord because he took the carpet cleaning out of our deposit, after telling us “not to worry about it, I’ll have it done regardless”. This is despite the fact that they DID NOT clean the carpet before DH moved in 5 years ago, so essentially we got charged for 10 years worth of normal wear, 1/2 of which wasn’t even ours! But… he allowed the next tenant to move in early, and pro-rated the rent for the month, returning some to us, so it ended up being a $30 difference, which I didn’t think was worth fighting over. Had he not done that, I would have fought it.
Post # 14
does your city or state have a tenant’s advocacy group? i know that here in dc, you can go to the housing authority and they’ll help you with things like this. while i think it’s a good idea to threaten to sue, i would not promote bringing forth legal action. friends of mine went through something similar and they sued, but now they’ve already spent double what they were owed on legal fees. the judge ended up telling their landlord to give back the security deposit but not the legal fees, but then their landlord appealed — so they still haven’t seen any money from their landlord and they’re out about $1000 more.