My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Tennessee.
Myself and 2 other roommates moved into a house last July. Between us all, we had the understanding that we would pay 6 months rent at a time and in the event any of us failed out of grad school and left, they weren't entitled to the paid rent back.
Fast forward to the fall. One party, Jason, failed out. He also hadn't paid his 6 months rent but wanted out of the lease since he was moving back to his home state. We agreed to let him off the lease if he paid his six months. We were on separate pages on the security deposit though. He expected it back and we didn't think he had a right to it. Unfortunately, this issue didn't crop up until the day he moved out. On the day he moved out, he was expecting his security deposit be refunded. The other roommate and myself let him know that with him leaving early and being allowed off the lease, he gives up his right to his security deposit. That it will go towards the $2400 rent deficit we were shouldering and any repairs.
The property manager witnessed this discussion and notes the agreement we all signed with 'Jason forfeits his security deposit'. The other roommate and I were never able to find a student to move in and wound up paying the remaining 6 months between the two of us. The 2nd half of the rent was paid in a 6 month chunk, on time, and we never thought to revisit the issue of Jason's security deposit. Until now.
Fast forward to this month. We've moved out. Left the place immaculate. The only issues on the walk through list were issues that existed when we moved in and for which we had written documentation.
The property manager is indicating we don't have a right to the forfeited security deposit. They never applied it to rent and are indicating we, as the tenants, are ridiculous for expecting Jason's deposit.
How can we find out for sure if we're expecting too much? It seems they should not be able to keep it just because he forfeited it.
Thanks in advance!