(Closed) Landload not returning deposit wants more money, live in California

posted 6 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

I am a landlord, though not in your state. In Alaska tennants who have made improvements to the property are supposed to get it approved through the landlord and submit reciepts etc. If you have submitted, or at least kept your reciepts you might be okay. But if you take him to small claims you will probably not get credited (at least in AK) Unless he stated that those repairs needed to be made.

About the door. Yes, he can charge you for the repair or replacement of the door. If the quote seems to high you can request to see up to three estimates that he got for the repair/replacement as if he is charging you he is required to take the least expensive offer. If you deposit was 600 and your bill is going to be 900 is might not be a terrible idea to gather up all the recipts of improvements that you made and go talk to him dirrectly, one of those ‘yes we damaged the door, but please consider x,y,z that is adding value to the home you are selling right now.’ converstaions. It might work, it might not, but it certainly can’t hurt to make him aware. If you have any pictures or before and after shots with date stamps those would be useful.

Post # 4
Member
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I used to lease apartments/manage properties in Tx, so this is just my opinion.   

 

When he did the walk through, was there any paperwork exchanged?  A checklist or something?

If not, I would say that he can definitely charge you for the door, even if he said it was ok before.  It’ll be his word against yours in court. 

AS for the paint around the fireplace, he’s being ridiculous- that’s normal wear and tear.

Check your lease for the terms of the deposit return, and if you can find the CA law that states 21 days, I would remind him of that today.   

Post # 6
Member
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

He can definitely charge you to replace the door.

Post # 8
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m a landlord in PA, but when my former roommate and I had moved out of our old house before we were both married, we sued our landlord for our deposit. Like in CA, it is written in PA’s leases that the landlord has 30 days to provide an itemized list or return the deposit. Our landlord did neither, and finally provided us with check for less than 1/2 of our security deposit. We sued him and won. 

If he does provide you with an itemized list tomorrow, he does have the right to charge you for anything that you damaged. So the door is fair game, and it’s whatever quote HE chooses. It doesn’t have to be the quote you choose. The key to all of this is that he has to provide you with the itemized list by the 21st day. If not, he owes you the full security deposit back. 

Post # 9
Member
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

As a person who has been in a VERY similar situation, it’s not worth the deposit. If you take it to small claims court or renters tribunal, he will find any and every way to have you pay for the door, which seems like it might cost a pretty penny. I say let the $600 go and be happy you got out of there.

Post # 10
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

California has excellent tenant rights (I am moving there and have really checked it out). If he hasn’t given you the list by day 21, you are entitled to your deposit, regardless of damage caused. I have actually had nothing but toally effing insane landlords (is it something about the business that attracts them?!). I think many simply wait until the tenant has left, and use damage from all previous tenants as grounds for withholding current tenant security deposits. As a result, I make it very – very – clear that I photograph the shit out of every single place I rent now. I’ve also taken two landlords to court (small claims) and won each time. It’s the serious downside to renting – you have to be really proactive about protecting yourself. You’re not responsible for his upkeep – sewage, etc that you mentioned (probably against code and illegal as well), and his dropping by unannounced is actually illegal. Next rental, document all of it, and send them notices certified mail about what they are doing that is crossing legal lines. It will give your case teeth if you need to take them to court. Or if they are being horrible to you and you want to bring an inspector in to get them to act on maintenance issues that really need to be done!

Post # 11
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Also, I just saw that the deposit is only $600. I’ve never paid less than $2000, so i’d say that $600 isn’t worth as much of a fight as $2000. But that depends on your personal circumstances.

Post # 13
Member
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Being in Canada, I am sure it’s entirely different.  I woul dmake sure, on a future rental, that the walk throughs at both ends (move in and out) are fully documented, you can download forms online that both of you will sign.

I am slightly confused about the door to the shed/shop.  You said “other” tenants…was this building not included in your tenancy?  Or leased to another entity?  Becasue if so, then no, he absolutely cannot charge you for the damage.  If it WAS on your lease, and there is no written/signed walk through, then yes, he can.  In all honesty, I’d just walk away from the damage deposit and let him attempt to take you to court for the door.

Renting is a miserable thing, even the best tenants have issues and I agree with PP that landlords tend to have a touch of crazy. 

Post # 16
Member
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@kcaggiebiz:  Then he can’t take your damage deposit away, provided that the exclusion of the damaged building is in your lease, or you can get a copy of the lease from the other tenant who is responsible for the damaged building.  It’s the tenant who’s name is on that lease to deal with the damage, and if they choose to go after you, that’s their deal.

I’d walk away from the $600, and let him try to take you court for the remainder.

 

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