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Really pissed off. Landlord hasn't given deposit back after 4 months and lives out of

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Old 02-27-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
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Really pissed off. Landlord hasn't given deposit back after 4 months and lives out of

The landlord lives out of state and the building I was renting 4 months ago has been sold. Small claims court says I can't do small claims based on this information. But apparently I can do a civil case, possibly....which involves lawyers and spending money...

This makes me so angry its unbelievable. This guy doesn't even respond to emails. I previously asked for a physical address and he wouldn't give one and this was while I was still renting. I have the address I got when I first moved in, to send rent payments of course. Then he switched to electronic deposit. What's worse is this guy is a military reservist.

Not sure if I can ask tax assessor's office for information on any other possible building he might have in California? So that I can hopefully do small claims.

We left the apartment in good condition. 3 months after leaving he inspected. The only thing we left "bad" was a hole in the wall we patched up but didn't paint. It was about 2" diameter. He claimed it smelled like cat pee? The place has hardwood floors. I understand cats can pee on walls but we never noticed any. Also asked guests if it ever smelled. He previously said we needed to go back and clean, this was 3 months after vacating!!!! and that if we didn't we would be charged and also be charged for removal of things like a verizon box attached to the wall, I believe it's some sort of back up battery/signal carrier. He also tried to blame us for the front lawn appearing dry...keep in mind this was 3 months after leaving that he finally checked it out. We kept it in good condition while we were there, we watered the lawn frequently. It was nice and green when we left.

I was dumb enough to think that another military member wouldn't do wrong to a veteran. Because he was a friend of a military friend of mine. I decided to rent from the guy. He also tried to switch the situation on us! Saying we should do the right thing and clean the apartment or take responsibility for the charges (3 months later) We were good tenants, always paid on time, kept the place as clean as how we got it. He also did this to the other previous tenant. It took her 4 months to get her deposit back. But I have a feeling he won't give this one up willingly.

I won't mention which branch he is in because he shouldn't be associated with them.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:34 AM   #2
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How much money are we talking about?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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$1600
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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$1600
What state does he live in?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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How much is the deposit? Probably not worth pursuing. Every landlord I've ever had says the place isn't clean enough or there were stains and shit. Not worth arguing about to me. The most I've paid for deposit was $400 though.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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He just replied saying I will prepare an invoice for the cleaning and getting rid of the smell and cat hair....

We cleaned that place well and have pictures to prove it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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$1600
Thats one hell of a deposit
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DCGirl View Post
He just replied saying I will prepare an invoice for the cleaning and getting rid of the smell and cat hair....

We cleaned that place well and have pictures to prove it.
Was there a signed document saying what condition the place was in prior to moving in and after leaving?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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Thats one hell of a deposit
Not by our standards out here
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by acdronin View Post
Was there a signed document saying what condition the place was in prior to moving in and after leaving?
I requested an inspection from him prior to moving out and he declined saying he didn't have time. I did however get a paper signed by the realtor which I had to give the keys to saying I was giving her the keys and also that the place was in good condition. This was something I wrote up myself and I have pictures of the rental.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #11
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$1600

does the landlord still own the property or has it been sold? if they still own it, put a lein against the property
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #12
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In Washington State owners must return deposits within a reasonable period (3 weeks I think)with a full explanation of any deductions. If they don't meet the timeline then they are obligated to return the full amount. I believe California has a similar law. There should also be a tenant advocacy group in your area that can give you quick answers to your questions. Once you know the law and are sure of your position you can probably go to small claims court and get a judgement in your favor. It may take some time to get your money back but the process is not too difficult. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCGirl View Post
He just replied saying I will prepare an invoice for the cleaning and getting rid of the smell and cat hair....

We cleaned that place well and have pictures to prove it.
That will cost around $1600 . Watch .
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #14
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does the landlord still own the property or has it been sold? if they still own it, put a lein against the property
^ This
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCGirl View Post
I requested an inspection from him prior to moving out and he declined saying he didn't have time. I did however get a paper signed by the realtor which I had to give the keys to saying I was giving her the keys and also that the place was in good condition. This was something I wrote up myself and I have pictures.
Dang, that's not going to help you much because he didn't sign it. Unless you have the ability to take him to small claims or civil court where he is I'm afraid you are probably going to get screwed. Sadly, the amount of money we're talking about is simply not worth the expense it would take to recover it. My advice (unless someone has a better idea), is to get whatever you can from him, find whoever his CO is and write them a nasty letter saying how much his soldier is a thief. CO's love to hear that kind of thing. Good Luck
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tacofire38 View Post
Thats one hell of a deposit
It all depends on where you're at. Where I am, the place we are renting out to a tenant put the first month rent down as deposit: $1650.
OP if you have pictures, make sure they know. Good idea that you did that. Before I rented our place out I took pictures and video to document the condition of the house. When tenants leave if theres a problem I will have proof. You shouldn't have to fight to get your deposit back. If any repairs are necessary they should get it done and give you the rest back. If not, it's all yours. They might just not have the money to give to you.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #17
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Not by our standards out here
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Dang, that's not going to help you much because he didn't sign it. Unless you have the ability to take him to small claims or civil court where he is I'm afraid you are probably going to get screwed. Sadly, the amount of money we're talking about is simply not worth the expense it would take to recover it. My advice (unless someone has a better idea), is to get whatever you can from him, find whoever his CO is and write them a nasty letter saying how much his soldier is a thief. CO's love to hear that kind of thing. Good Luck
I was starting to consider finding information about his unit so that is a possibility.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by joneill03 View Post
It all depends on where you're at. Where I am, the place we are renting out to a tenant put the first month rent down as deposit: $1650.
OP if you have pictures, make sure they know. Good idea that you did that. Before I rented our place out I took pictures and video to document the condition of the house. When tenants leave if theres a problem I will have proof. You shouldn't have to fight to get your deposit back. If any repairs are necessary they should get it done and give you the rest back. If not, it's all yours. They might just not have the money to give to you.
Pictures don't capture animal odor and hair . If animals are let into the house they can cause massive damage and you can pretty much kiss the deposit goodbye .
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gelo760 View Post
Pictures don't capture animal odor and hair . If animals are let into the house they can cause massive damage and you can pretty much kiss the deposit goodbye .
yeah thats true, but in the cases I've seen where animals have pissed and crapped all over the house there are usually other telltale signs, like destroyed carpet and walls, curtains, etc...
Either way I hope she gets it worked out and at least something back.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by chris5255 View Post
In Washington State owners must return deposits within a reasonable period (3 weeks I think)with a full explanation of any deductions. If they don't meet the timeline then they are obligated to return the full amount. I believe California has a similar law. There should also be a tenant advocacy group in your area that can give you quick answers to your questions. Once you know the law and are sure of your position you can probably go to small claims court and get a judgement in your favor. It may take some time to get your money back but the process is not too difficult. Good luck.
There is, it's 21 days here. I have brought it up and he doesn't care.
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