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Deposit moved to roommate gone for 6-1/2 months Security Deposit

Discussion in 'Moving In & Out, Movers' started by JakeFirst, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. JakeFirst

    JakeFirst Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello!

    I am recently divorced (see: Unsure how to proceed with amicable divorce | | TheLaw.com). My ex-wife moved out of the apartment we shared back in April. She ended up moving in next door because the landlord owned both properties and she didn't have to go through a credit check or anything that she would have endured elsewhere and been unable to procure residence.

    When we moved in, we brought her cat with us. The landlord would only allow the cat if I paid an additional $300 to my deposit. So I paid $1,200 total deposit. When my ex-wife moved out, she took the cat with her. I recently moved away myself and got my security deposit notice from the landlord. He only listed $900 as the deposit (left the pet deposit section blank) and only gave me back what was owed after cleaning from the $900.

    I have tried to get ahold of the landlord by phone for over a week and since he doesn't have an answering machine or voicemail, I've had no luck. In speaking with my ex-wife, she claims that she worked out a deal with the landlord so that she wouldn't have to pay the pet deposit on the place she ended up moving in to. According to her, she simply had the landlord "move" the deposit from my apartment to hers. The landlord never discussed any such thing with me. Now it appears that I am out the $300 unless I can convince the landlord otherwise.

    Is doing this without my approval or having me sign an agreement allowing this transfer of part of the deposit legal? I have sent a letter to the landlord asking for an explanation, but I was wondering if what he did was allowable. I was under the impression (and I'm no expert) that my ex-wife abandoned any portion of the deposit when she chose to move out. It was a month-to-month agreement by the way.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You will have to end up suing the LL, your former spouse, or BOTH of them if you want the $300 back.

    If I were you, I'd think of the $300 as an additional price you had to pay to BUY your freedom and happiness back.
     
  3. JakeFirst

    JakeFirst Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, AJ. I was eventually contacted by the property landlord and he informed me that he "transferred" the deposit to my ex's place. Then a moment later he told me that all deposits are given to the last person to reside in the property. I told him that sounded very contradictive since I was the last person to leave the property, especially since there was no written agreement of any kind indicating such a "transfer" in my paperwork. I told him my paperwork shows I have a refundable pet deposit for $300 and I expect it to be paid. I believe he has now asked my ex to pony up the $300 for her place in $150 installments during the next two months of rent.

    That being said, although I'm not really planning on pursuing such an avenue at the moment, I could potentially sue for 3 times the amount that is owed since it was not paid within the 31 days? Or does that not apply when a partial payment was made (ie, he paid me some of the money but left out the owed pet deposit, so I've only been partially paid).

    Because I may want a positive rental referral in the future I likely won't push the landlord on this, but if he doesn't want to pay I may be inclined to let him know that I could be entitled to 3 times the amount owed -- if I would actually be entitled to such a sum. Thanks again!
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Only the court can say definitively.
    My advice, take whatever you can get.
    Once the bird is in your hand, chase the one in the bush, if that's your wish.
     

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