1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

security deposit

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by scottskeen, Aug 2, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. scottskeen

    scottskeen Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    well i have been in a rental home for almost 2 years. the lease expired after one year and we have been doing month to month ever since. our lease doesn't say anything about a 30 day notice before moving. the landlord had been a great guy and never gave us any problems until now.
    my wife and i called him on different occasions to inform him we will be moving. we called him and have the phone records to prove the phone call happened. but it was a verbal notice. his response to it was we were great tenets and he would gladly give us our deposit as long as there is no damage. he was even going to give us the deposit early. he is now disputing we called and gave him a 30 day notice and i don't have it in writing so i have no proof that i did.
    he sent me a check in the mail for half of my deposit and a letter stating he is keeping the other half because we failed to give 30 days notice but the place was clean so he is give us half.
    he then calls me and is trying to get me to agree to take the money and shut up and not take him to court for the rest. if i said i am going to take him to court he is going to cancel the check and i will not see a dime of his money and the judge will laugh at my case. i reminded him he said he would give it back and he said i had no proof of that. and it is his money he doesn't have to give me a dime.

    so my question is this.
    Do I have a case that i can win???

    I do have a neighbor who was present when the phone conversation happened between him and my wife does that make a difference?

    He did not have the place up for rent for 24 hours and rented the house so can he still keep my deposit???
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  2. scottskeen

    scottskeen Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  3. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    347
    Trophy Points:
    83

    Attached please review the steps needed to terminate a month to month tenancy in Ohio. This typically requires a written notice for such:

    http://www.ohiolandlordtenant.com/faq20.html

    Although you indicate the unit was rerented quickly, do you know when the lease for this new tenant actually started?

    Gail
     
  4. Ctryder

    Ctryder New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You have to have it in writing. No matter if the judge was listening on the phone conversation, it has to be in writing.
    The LL could have kept it all, charged you for damages and cleaning. But he did give back half, thought he was being fair, which in my opinion, he was.

    You are not happy with it, but if taken to court you will lose and the LL might, just might, add additional charges, cleaning, damages and not giving your full 30 days notice in WRITING. The decision is yours.
     
  5. scottskeen

    scottskeen Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    well Crtyder hate to tell u but u r wrong. i am looking for real advice here. he can not add more charges i have proof of what the place looked like and witnesses. so he can not take back the letter that stated his giving me half and the place looked great
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  6. scottskeen

    scottskeen Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    yes i know even when there lease starts. they r very nice people
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,478
    Likes Received:
    2,026
    Trophy Points:
    113

    As I see it you have a reasonable argument to make, and if the landlord doesn't return your money in full within the legal time requirement he may be on the hook for additional penalties.
    Your lease may not have said anything about 30 day notice, but the law does. As stated, it must be written.
    However, your landlord can not simply keep your deposit as a penalty. He has to make a legitimate effort to rent the place and minimize the loss in the event he received short notice. If the landlord can prove actual damages as a result of the late notice, THEN he might be entitled to something.
    Is a new tenant moved in yet? The answer to that question should point you in the right direction.
     
  8. Ctryder

    Ctryder New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry, but if you don't have pictures, you will lose. Having witnesses does not matter.
    Yes, the LL can indicate that once the place was vacated, he noticed things that was not visable while the place was being occupied. Once vacated he can say he had a better view of the place and notice things that was not seen prior. Letter stating it looked great was, I assume, while you living there.
    So, no, I am not wrong. You can take this advice or not. Your choice.
     
  9. MorgansDaddy

    MorgansDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I beg to differ Ctryder. NO ONE can really know how the judge will rule, so the OP could win or could lose no matter the evidence. It sounds like a reasonable argument that is being made. Also, if the new tenants moved in practically as soon as the OP moved out, it would be hard for the LL to claim damages. A lot would ride on how soon the new tenants moved in. Of course then comes the decision if it is really worth the head ache of going to court to try to win. Being as winning doesn't mean a penny will ever be seen. Winning the judgment is the easy part compared to collecting on it more often than not. What I would do if the other half of the deposit was important enough to me, would be send a demand letter to the LL giving him two weeks to return the other half, stating he has no damages(if the new tenants moved in soon enough) via certified mail with return receipt, and inform him you intend to pursue other legal remedies if the other half of the deposit is not returned in said two weeks.
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,478
    Likes Received:
    2,026
    Trophy Points:
    113

    In California I believe the renter can claim up to 3 times the amount of the deposit as damages.... a pretty stiff penalty for landlords that screw around. Ohio may have a similar law that allows you to recover more than the deposit, and seeking that higher amount may persuade the landlord to pay what you are owed and avoid court.
     
  11. Ctryder

    Ctryder New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I didn't say I would know how the judge would rule, but he will lose.
    1) NO WRITTEN NOTICE - that alone forfeit the deposit

    2) If there is damages, regardless the length of time to rent the place, the FACT remains there was damages. How can we know that that the LL did not work 24 hours straight to clean for new renters. We don't. I have had known LL to say they have done this and had the workers indicated they did. Nephew recently had the LL do this to him. So it does happen.
    But he will win, she thinks she is dealing with two young kids. She doesn't realize that someone with experience is doing the work for them.

    3) Just because he stated in letter that the place was clean, this, I assume, was when the renter was living there with his belongings. Once the place is vacated the LL is able to see " hidden damages" that was not noticeable while he did the walk-through.
    4) If op does not have pictures to prove different, he will lose

    As I said, if the LL gave him half the deposit, which he didn't have to do, the LL was being fair. I agree with you, is it worth the process of going to court?

    Another thing, if op does go to court he will have on his record that he made a complaint against the LL. When he goes to rent a place and there is a reference check, one will see that case. IRREGARDLESS, if he wins or lose the case will show up and no LL will rent to him for the fear of being sue. So as I said to the op---it's his choice
     
  12. scottskeen

    scottskeen Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ctryder

    Detrimental reliance

    i have about 30 pictures a video of the inside and out.
    the new tenants got the key 21 hours after i moved out.
     
  13. scottskeen

    scottskeen Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    to me it is about more than money at this point. he has been very nasty to us. and has threatened to but my is jail for calling his house to try to get our money. he says it is his money. and according to the law it is our money and has to prove it has been in a separate account for the past two year.

    anyone with real advice please help!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  14. Ctryder

    Ctryder New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can understand your frustration. And that is blinding you to sound advice.
    I don't blame you for being mad. I would too if someone threaten me with jail.
    He probably didn't keep it in a separate account. Naturally, he is going to threaten you.
    You gave yourself your own advice, but again, your being mad is overriding common sense. This is what you said, " he sent me a check in the mail for half of my deposit and a letter stating he is keeping the other half because we failed to give 30 days notice."
    Notice has to be 30 days in writing, it's the law, it doesn't have to be in a lease. See the difference? He is within his right to keep all the deposit - but he return half.
    I am glad you took pictures. If he tries to tell you, you damaged this or that, send him a certified reg letter, indicating you have pictures to prove otherwise. And do not pay. Let him take you to court. If he can't prove the two years account of your money, he won't take you to court. You win.
    Let him blow steam. Now all this is in my opinion, only you know what you have and don't have as a means of proof.
    But if you did continue with this, is it worth having a case against a LL? It may not seem important now, but later on when you want to rent again and when a reference check is done and your name appears showing a case dispute, do you really think that a future LL will rent to you? It's your choice.
     
  15. MorgansDaddy

    MorgansDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Your best advice is to cut off verbal contact. Send the demand letter exactly how I said earlier, demanding the return of the the remaining deposit. If he fails to comply, you sue him. If you have proof, as you stated, of the condition when you moved out, and the new tenants moved in less than a day after your departure, I don't see how he could claim damages with or without the notice. Quick question, how long has it been since you moved? The LL has 30 days to send you a list of damages as to why and what he is keeping some of the deposit. If he failed to do this, you have an even better case. As far as Ctryder saying it will keep you from renting again, I am sure you have already found a new place, being you moved out already. Not to mention, a good LL does would not hold it against you, so if a LL is scared to rent to a person because they sued a former LL, I would say you are better off not renting from that person. The LL has no real damages to claim, so feel free to pursue this as far as you desire, and I wish you luck in your pursuit.
     
  16. Ctryder

    Ctryder New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Can't you seem to understand, he DID NOT GIVE THE NOTICE IN WRITING, hence, LL can keep all the deposit.
    True, he may have rented now, because there is NO CASE PENDING, but there will be. I am a good LL, I have long term renters, and I WOULD NEVER rent to one that has brought a case against the LL. No one would for fear of being sue over the drop of a hat. They are always the ones that cry and complain the most. Sorry, you are wrong. I would like to see the hands of LL on this site who would. Be true full.
     
  17. MorgansDaddy

    MorgansDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes it is true that the law states he must give 30 days notice. In most all cases you would be right about the LL being entitled to compensation(up to 30 days of rent after it was learned that the tenant would be moving or moved if there was not a 30 day written notice). That is because normally the lack of notice causes a delay in finding a new tenant, thus the rental sits empty, thus causing damages. No damages were caused by the lack of the notice in this case, therefore the landlord would not be entitled to damages. To be entitled to damages, you actually have to have suffered damages.

    As far as the other part, I see your point. However, I am sure it would depend on the circumstances and how open and upfront the tenant is. Speaking generally and nothing to do with this post, I am sure a LL wouldn't care if a perspective tenant sued a former LL if the suit had merit.
     
  18. Searchertwin

    Searchertwin New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would not rent to people that have had a court case listed to either tenant or the Landlord against each other that dealt with something during their rental. Wouldn't care if it had "merit" or not, they would be troublemakers. No thanks
     
  19. MorgansDaddy

    MorgansDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That is fine, to each their own. Some landlords feel that way, some don't. If a landlord does something that merits beings sued, then they should be sued, without fear of being labeled a "troublemaker." If the tenant is sued for lack of payment or something like that I see your point though. There is a lot of slimy landlords out there that rip tenants off and sometimes you have no choice but to sue them. If the tenant and LL does everything how they are supposed to, it wouldn't be like that. Guess I should consider myself lucky that I haven't had that problem, although thought i may have to sue a LL before but he resolved the problem before it went that far. If a landlord rips you off, they shouldn't get away with it, being how as a tenant, you would be sued if you ripped off the LL.
     
  20. Ctryder

    Ctryder New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a feeling you were not a LL. Some of your advice, like nail holes are not damages, are incorrect. Also, giving tenants reason that LL would rent to them if they bring a suit against them, if it had merit. Plus a few other things that is just seen from a tenant view. I agree that if the LL and tenant would do what is right there would be no problem, but we don't live in that world.
     

Share This Page

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.