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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    8

    Default Security Deposits

    My question involves a security deposit in the State of: California

    My Girlfriend and I signed a 12 month Rental Agreement with our landlord over a year ago. The rental agreement was an older one, supplied by or landlord and stated in a provision that our security deposit was to be returned in 14 days. We did not receive an itemized statement until 22 days after we moved which was mailed 20 days from the date we vacated. The itemized security deposit form stated that we owed more than we paid, and stated that a negative credit report was in the works if we did not pay. I believe that the landlord is in breach of contract for not having sent me a itemized statement or my deposit back within the 14 days stipulated in the agreement, and secondly I believe the charges are baseless. We were charged 130 for carpet cleaning, 130 for cleaning(itemized 30 for refridgerator, 15 for sofa, 15 for mini-blinds, 15 for desk, etc.), and 358 for carpet replacement (why clean the old carpet then replace with new?). I think that our landlord just wanted to spend our deposit and not give any back. any help and advice is greatly appreciated. BTW we left because the landlord made us pay in cash, did not put up proper notice to enter dwelling x 12, and did not allow for a cat.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    8

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    Wondering if anybody has any thoughts?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    So no thoughts from anyone?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    California landlord/tenant law requires that the landlord either return the security deposit or supply a deductions list within 21 days of vacating. If you believe the charges are "baseless"...you are free to persue in small claims court.

  5. #5
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    Did you take pictures or video of consition of apartment when you left? If not its your word against theirs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    Quote Quoting whom
    View Post
    (why clean the old carpet then replace with new.

    If you didn't take pictures before you left, and it's possible the landlord did, and could even have the carpet cleaning firm testify in his behalf.

    As a landlord, I've cleaned heavily soiled carpets, even more than once, only to have the service tell me that certain stains just cannot come out. Then afterwards, I got new tenants looking tell me they would only rent the place if the soiled carpet is replaced because of the ugly stain that won't come out!!

    What am I to do??

    Am I to tell the cleaning service I won't pay them because the carpet would have to be be replaced, since they didn't clean it right, or that when a tenant moves out i can only "clean or replace the carpet", not do both, otherwise the tenant won't feel it's fair. Does that sound right to you??

    Then if I replace the carpet without even trying to clean it first, I'll be accused of cheating the tenant too!! They'll say "you want me to pay for that new carpet. Why didn't you clean it first"??

    From the looks of it, the landlord did itemize within the time period, and you'll have to sue to get the money back and proving you didn't damage to place.

    Not that I don't sympathize with you. When I moved from my rental apartment to my first condo right after I married, I had to hire a lawyer to get my deposit back.

    The way I do it with my tenants now, I have a movein walk thru and a move-out walktrhu, and an inspection form signed by both, on both occasions. In the last half dozen years, this has worked out well for me and the tenants. The next time you move, insist on a walkthrough when you move out, as well as moving in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Officially across the country from where I've been all my life
    Posts
    4,494

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    The form itself may have been outdated, however, state law indicates that either the money or an accounting needs to be sent within 21 days of you vacating the unit, which your landlord did.

    If you feel like the deductions are baseless, then you can sue him in small claims court, but be prepared for him to countersue. Hope you got pictures of every inch of that place before you left.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    Thank you THank You Thank YOu for all the responses. To answer:

    We did take pictures of the place. We expect to sue in small claims. We have sent a certified letter indicating that we want our deposit back. The Lease Agreement was supplied by the LAndlord and signed and dated by Landlord, manager, and Tenants. The date signed is the only date on the rental agreement. I verbally spoke with the manager on more than one occasion regarding the fourteen days and that we would expect it to be fulfilled. We followed all the rules ( I wonder if our ex-landlord would have used this same Agreement to sue/evict us if we were late on our rent) DO I have a case? Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

    w

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    Just food for thought since you stated you are headed to small claims court anyway, review your lease, California law states that the Landlord has to place your security deposit in an escrow account or savings account ( Name of institution provided on lease), either way both of which draw interest on the dollar. When requesting a refund of your security deposit, acertain the financial institutions interest rate where YOUR money was drawing interest at the time of deposit to date, you can request that also. After all the money does not belond to your landlord but to the owner of the deposit itself. Good Luck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Officially across the country from where I've been all my life
    Posts
    4,494

    Default Re: Security Deposits

    Quote Quoting samizsweet
    View Post
    California law states that the Landlord has to place your security deposit in an escrow account or savings account ( Name of institution provided on lease),
    Can you please provide the code that states that that information MUST be provided on the lease? I've never heard of such a thing in my life.

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