Just Moved - Former Landlord Refuses To Give Our Deposit Back

FedUp02

LoanSafe Member
#1
I was not sure where to post this - thought this was a good place.

We recently moved from one city to another in North Carolina and cannot get our deposit back from our former landlord. This is the same guy who called us early last August, on a Tuesday, and told us we had to move out by Friday. That didn't happen fortunately.

He has no reason for doing this since we were good tenants (he said so repeatedly) and took good care of the house.

This makes no sense to us as we previously had a very good relationship with him. It was something that just happened out of the blue. We don't know what to do and need advice on how to handle it and get our deposit back.

Thank you for any advice you can give.

FedUp02
 

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
#2
First what I would do is send a nice letter to the landlord from an attorney on his letterhead. Hopefully you took pictures of the condition of the property when you left as that will justify any cost of repairs needed or carpet replacement. The carpet I believe has a 5 year lifespan so if you've been in the property for longer than 5 years or know that the carpet wasn't new upon your arrival you have a case there.

Is the landlord claiming they have to clean the house before renting it again? If so they have to itemize all things done to the property including cleaning which would then be deducted from your deposit if there is anything needed at all.
 

FedUp02

LoanSafe Member
#3
Hi Erik,

Thank you for your response.

Well, right now we probably could not afford an attorney, as much as we would like to do so. No, we did not take pictures because we did not know that he was going to stiff us on the deposit. We lived there for a little over 2 years. Everything in that house was from when it was first built - approximately 25 years ago, including the carpet. Yes, seriously. The place was a dump when we moved in, but, fortunately we were able to spend several days cleaning everything up and make it better and comfortable to stay in as long as we did. The landlord even commented on how much better it looked. No, he never mentioned having to clean it before renting again. There is really nothing he needs to do other than probably shampoo the carpet if he still intends not to update the place.

Our next door neighbors there shook their heads and told us that he has done this with every tenant he has had. I don't know if previous tenants have tried to get their deposits back or sued. I am sure that none of us knew he was going to turn into Mr. Hyde.

I thought about sending him a letter on how we feel, but, that would probably just be wasting a stamp. We hate to do nothing and let him get away with it.

Thanks again, Erik, for your advice.

FedUp02
 

Erik Sandstrom

Mortgage Expert - Call 1-619-379-8999
Staff member
#4
I would threaten to take him to small claims court, that may rattle his feathers. Honestly without any documentation to back up your claim the landlord may have the upper hand. But since you have the neighbors as witnesses to this happening with other tenants maybe they can write a letter for you. Research landlord/tenant rights regarding the deposit before sending a letter. Make sure to send it certified mail as well. Sorry to hear about this, from your previous posts about this situation I'm honestly not surprised he would do this.

Here's what I do with all my properties with a tenant leaving. I take the deposit, then subtract whatever the property needed to bring it back to the same condition before the previous tenant rented the home. Cleaning fees, carpet, and repairs if needed. As a landlord I believe I have to show receipts of the work done if questioned or taken to court. Thankfully that hasn't happened to me yet but I guess I should knock on wood.

Regarding the carpet, request a receipt showing when the original carpet was purchased if he's claiming he has to replace the carpet.

All in all it doesn't sound like he's doing any of the above to justify not giving you your deposit back and is just shafting you which is not right. Hope it all works out the best.
 

FedUp02

LoanSafe Member
#5
Thanks Erik. You are right about him not doing any of the items you listed that you do when a tenant is leaving. I truly believe that he could not care less. When he wants you out he wants you out. He also lies constantly we found out during the 2 years we lived there. Yes, it does look like we have been shafted. We are not the first and are pretty sure we are not the last. Also, like you, in the end, we are not surprised either. But, what goes around comes around.

Again, thanks for your good wishes and great advice.