My question involves a roommate in the State of: Iowa
A former friend and ex roommate and I decided to sign a year lease together. We paid a deposit along with first month rent. I never stayed at the place due to extenuating circumstances, I decided to move back in with my parents while continue to pay rent (as this was my financial obligation to the lease) and utilities as requested by roommate. During this time, I made an earnest effort to find someone who would take over my share of the lease or sublet the room. The search was not successful, however, I still maintained contact with her just in case she needed rent.The lease expired in March of this year and I contacted my former roommate to inquire about the deposit and she at first ignored my calls and emails. She then submitted a response a week ago stating that due to my irresponsibility and abandonment of the room, I will not be getting the deposit back and to contact the landlord. I paid 8 months of rent and 4 months of utilities to her and she was well aware that I would continue to pay rent as necessary. The four months I did not cover and I had asked her if she needed rent, she stated that she had a friend covering less than half the total rent and she will not be needing it. Am I still entitled to my deposit? I have bank documents as evidence that I paid rent and utilities even though I was not living at the place. I thought a deposit is to ensure rent is paid and the tenant does not accrue any damage to the apartment. Please advice. I contemplated small claims court but I'm not sure if I have a case and the amount is minimal compared to what small claims court would cost. Thank you!