When my husband graduated from the University he took a job in another state. I was sad to leave our little apartment on the main level of an old house. His new job paid for professional movers. A couple of men came in and packed everything away in just a few hours. Then came the task of cleaning. A friend from church came and helped me. We scrubbed and scrubbed leaving that apartment much cleaner than it was when we moved in.
The landlord came by with his little check list. He was very pleased with the condition of the house and said that he would get us a refund on our deposit right away. I was thankful; $425 was a lot of money.
We relocated and waited for our check to come. A month went by, and we never received it. My husband called and left a message. Still we didn’t hear from the landlord about our money. Months went by without any word about our refund even though we wrote letters and left messages on his answering machine. We had been great renters, never causing trouble and always paying the rent on time. Seven months later we realized that the landlord planned to steal our money. We were not going to let it go.
We asked around as to what would be the next step. Someone told us to send him a certified letter. I took all the documentation and sent the letter requesting payment one final time before turning it over to a lawyer. Thankfully this is what it took. Not too long after that and about eight months after we moved out, we received an envelope in the mail containing absolutely nothing except a check with our money.
It seems like it is usually landlords that have trouble with the renters paying. I wonder if anyone else has had trouble getting a landlord to repay their well deserved deposit?
I believe anyone that has rented has gone through this ordeal. They (the landlord) think you will just go away. Good for you for keeping up on it and getting your money back. 🙂
We moved from a duplex to our current home which we were purchasing. While we resided in the duplex a flood filled the downstairs causing black mold to develop. Which is one reason we got out. We scrubbed and cleaned, leaving it clean as a pin. They attempted to blame us for the mold, till I provided pictures of the flood from storms to the landowner, who was unaware the people running it were not keeping up on their jobs. We got our deposit back and the managers got fired.
DM Yates says
We did once. We moved out, after having scrubbed everything, including the carpet, to only get back 1/3, with the reason being ‘unspecified damages done.’ When we insisted they tell us which damages, all they’d say is maintenance found a few things. I guess we could have pushed it, but we just chalked it up to learning a life lesson. If we ever live in another apt I hope to remember to do the walkthru with the maintenance guy.
Fortunately, here you only have to give a check (that isn’t cashed). Even though it has to be blank, you could theoretically cancel it, if there were problems.
On the other hand, here renters have to pay all property taxes, and sewage/water bills. Those add up to several thousand dollars a year.
Can’t win them all…
Mom's Thumb says
We’ve moved a lot during my college years. I’ve always gotten my deposits back quickly, but had to fight to get my full refund back when I know and could prove with before and after pictures that we left our apartments cleaner than we got them. We always repainted and cleaned carpets etc. Its a mess, man I can’t wait to buy a home and not deal with that ever again.
Glad you were finally able to get the money.
Most states require the landlord to pay double and some triple if you don’t receive the check within 30 days. If he/she is keeping it you need to receive a letter explaining that. Also, a security deposit is interest bearing (not much) so you should have received more than you paid (again not much). Too bad you didn’t persue it in small claims court. You would have won and had your court costs paid…..no lawyers, you had all the evidence.
Mmmmm, my mother is dealing with that at the moment. But here in South Africa there’s not much she can do to force the landlord to repay here. Lawyers cost too much, the courts are flooded with cases… One just has to shrug and move on (unfortunately).
I rented a house several years ago before getting married. My landlord did the same thing…only I am still waiting for the check! I decided that he needed it more than I did and finally gave up.