My question involves a security deposit in the State of: Texas
I moved out of my house on July 31, 2008. My landlord took me to small claims court on August 10, caliming that I owed her $459 in unpaid rent. I didn't. She was claiming I had owed her money for a pet deposit, which I had already paid and had the reciepts to prove. The judge ruled only that I move out of the house immediatly, which was no problem, since I had already done so two weeks earlier.
A few weeks after court, I still had not recieved any paperwork, and documentation from the hearing, nor had I recieved my security deposit ($935) I tried calling the land lord several times, but my calls were never answerd and my messages never returned.
On September 16, I sent her a certified letter reminding her that she had not given me back my deposit yet, and also that Texas law gives her 30 days to do so, or she becomes liable for three times the amounth with held, plus $100 and any reasonable attorney's fees.
Yesterday I received a letter from her. It was an itemized list of deductions which used up my entire deposit, plus $30. She had charged me for new carpet, because "new tenant demanded removal of old carpet," she charged me for yard maintenance, trash pickup, repair of holes in the walls, cleaning all six rooms in the house and for removal of items left in the alley for city pick up.
So yesterday evening I went to my old house and spoke with the new tenant. Not one thing I was charged for had been done. Not one. The new tenant was replacing the carpet in the house because she didn't like the color, and the landlord refused to pay for it. When she moved in, the yard was clean, but she paid for the lawn to be cut. There were no holes when I moved out, and I have pictures to prove so. Even if there were, I left all extra paint, drywall, primer etc. for them to match any future repairs.
The new tenant is writing out a statement for me verifying that none of the 'damages' had been 'repaired,' and I also have statements from the previous two tenants reguarding her level of unprofessionalism and general scum-lording.
My question is, is there anything else I could hold against her other than withholding my deposit for so long? I have her caught in a lie, and have also pointed out to the new tenants the things in the house that the landlord is required to provide, that are missing (like smoke detectors, locks on the windows, mold removal and so on...)
I would love to put a stop to her. She rents out quite a few properties and treats all of her tenants this way. Deposits are never returned and she keeps getting away with it. I am filing a suit tomorrow for the return of my deposit, but how else can I let her know she really messed with the wrong person this time?