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How to fairly & legally split a security deposit with damages Security Deposit

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by mcab, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. mcab

    mcab Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi there,

    I recently moved out of a house with 3 additional roommates, one who lived in the master bedroom and therefore paid higher rent and a larger security deposit than the rest of us, who paid equal amounts. During our stay at the house, damages were incurred. Two of the largest damages were in my room and the room of roommate A. She had burn marks on her carpet from where she put her hair styling heat tools (foolish...) and I had a stain where I accidentally spilled melted candle wax. The other 2 roommates, B & C, did not have damages, and roommate B did not even have carpet.

    Naturally, we did not receive the full deposit back and we all agree that roommate C, in the master bedroom, gets a larger portion back since he paid more. It seems natural that roommate A and I would share the cost of the damaged carpets and roommates B & C would not have to pay for the carpet replacement since they were not involved and in different undamaged rooms. However, she claims that she is entitled to equal amounts of money as me and roommate B (who all live in the same size room), that we have no proof the burn marks were hers (they weren't there before she moved in) and that if she gets a deduction for these damages then she will take the case to small claims court (keep in mind, we'd be fighting over less than $250 here...). She also did not help in any of the cleaning after move out, and I understand that it is standard practice to deduct for that as well, however she would not agree.

    She is also NOT ON THE LEASE. She subletted from someone after summer and the landlord said only to "let him know" when she moved in that way he is aware of it, but he did not put anything in writing on the lease. The original girl's name is still there and she already received her amount of the deposit back.

    What is the most legal and fair way to handle this? Is she entitled to the same amount of deposit as everyone or should she have to pay for damages she clearly incurred? She claims that she doesn't.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What you pay, hat you receive back from the landlord is up to the landlord.
    In cases reminiscent of yours, the funds (if any) are usually returned to one roommate for distribution to the others.

    How you apportion the funds is up to you, or the group.

    Even after its distributed, one or two might still sue.
    If that happens, each tells his or her story to the person wearing the black dress, and he or she decides.

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