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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Deposit Issue with Landlord and Utility Liability with Roommates

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    Myself (R) and two others (S & T) signed a 9-month lease with an option for a month-to-month basis after the 9-month period. Each of us (R, S, & T) signed the lease. I planned to move out after the 9-month period ended. S& E wanted to stay so they found another person (V) to take my place. We had each put down a $1500 deposit upon move-in.

    I know there was a renegotiation with the monthly rent. I do not know if another lease agreement was signed.

    I know that the landlord has not received a deposit from V and I know that V gave S & T a check for first month's rent and a deposit.

    Issue/Question #1:
    The landlord forwarded me a text he had sent to S & T. It said: "You need to send 'R' her deposit back, for that 9 month period there are $300 in fines and $195 in repairs, 2 noise violations, 1 parking, split the fines however the three of you agree, just let me know the split."

    He then sent to just me: "I have not received an additional deposit from the person that replaced you so they need to send the check."

    Who am I supposed to get my deposit money from? The landlord is making it sound like S & T are supposed to give me a deposit but it is my understanding that HE is required to give me my deposit back (minus the fines) within 20 days of lease end.

    Issue/Question #2:
    Move out date was July 31. I technically "moved out" on June 26. I only slept there 1 night (July 25th roughly) and only went over there within that June 26-July 31 period to move stuff out. That ONE night I was there I did one load of laundry, cooked some food, and watched some TV (used water, cable and gas).

    The gas is already paid off. Although I had originally felt that I shouldn't have to pay for utilities I barely used, I still paid the electricity and a significant amount to the cable company. S & T are now trying to squeeze more money out of me for the water bill and the cable bill. ($25.11 for water, and $22.79 for cable). Our monthly cable bill was over $160. The one night of cable I used should not cost me $22.79. Neither of these bills are in my name.

    Am I liable to pay those amounts if I did not use those utilities? It is my understanding that utility companies recognize those who used the utilities responsible for payment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Deposit Issue with Landlord and Utility Liability with Roommates

    What does your lease say about the return of the security deposit - does it describe how or to whom a refund may or must be made? Who actually wrote the deposit check or checks? When you moved out, did you sign any documents in relation to your departure and/or release from the lease? If so, what did the document(s) say?

    You're liable to your roommates for whatever utilities you agreed to pay. If there was no clear agreement, you can each pitch your arguments to a small claims judge and see what the judge decides.

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