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Landlord Will Not Return Security Deposit

Having a dispute with a tenant or landlord? Rental Law discussion

Landlord Will Not Return Security Deposit

Postby Dumaka » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:37 am

Hi - we leased a home in Duval County in April 2011 directly from the homeowner. We had numerous problems with us(not giving us keys to the back door, garage door openers not working, bathroom door not opening). We only contacted her with emergencies as she would always yell at us.  In October 2011 we had a terrible storm and advised her the kids bathroom ceiling was leaking. She told us to ignore it as the roof had been leaking for 2 yrs. We could see mold under the sheetrock and told her that. Our son has terrible asthma so this was a big health concern. Per our request, she actually did have the house tested for mold - found in bathroom, dining room and AC room. She said she would remove it herself but we insisted a professional do it, as mold can be dangerous. The professionals came out and said that it would take 3 days to remove and we could not be in the house. This was fine with us, but our landlord stated "if you would rather get out of the lease - since you only have 4 months left" that is another option. Our theory is that she does not want to pay for the mold removal or try and do it herself. We thought about it and advised her in November that we felt more comfortable for our son's health, to take her option and get out of the lease.  We showed the house for potential renters or buyers. We decided to buy a house but we did not know the exact closing date(which ended up being Dec 28th).  Prior to knowing, my husband "estimated" we would be out mid-Jan but we let her know we would be out by Jan 1st as soon as we found out we were closing.  Now she verbally told us she would not return our deposit because we did not give her 45 day notice(it did not say we had to do this in the lease plus she told up we could get out of the lease due to the mold), also she said that it will cost $1000 to get the weeds out of the yard(we hired professional lanscaper the whole time we were there), plus she said she would rather clean the house herself(instead of our cleaner) and was deducting $250 for that. So out of our $3100 deposit, she said she would give us $90 back!  We kept her house in immaculate condition and this is not fair at all. The HOA is currently battling with her as are the other neighbors about other issues. We don't know what to do or where to go from here? We got nothing in writing from her stating that she was keeping the deposit, but we don't know what to do at this point - can you advise?
Dumaka
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:39 pm

Landlord Will Not Return Security Deposit

Postby Apiatan » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:13 pm

Hi - we leased a home in Duval County in April 2011 directly from the homeowner. We had numerous problems with us(not giving us keys to the back door, garage door openers not working, bathroom door not opening). We only contacted her with emergencies as she would always yell at us.  In October 2011 we had a terrible storm and advised her the kids bathroom ceiling was leaking. She told us to ignore it as the roof had been leaking for 2 yrs. We could see mold under the sheetrock and told her that. Our son has terrible asthma so this was a big health concern. Per our request, she actually did have the house tested for mold - found in bathroom, dining room and AC room. She said she would remove it herself but we insisted a professional do it, as mold can be dangerous. The professionals came out and said that it would take 3 days to remove and we could not be in the house. This was fine with us, but our landlord stated "if you would rather get out of the lease - since you only have 4 months left" that is another option. Our theory is that she does not want to pay for the mold removal or try and do it herself. We thought about it and advised her in November that we felt more comfortable for our son's health, to take her option and get out of the lease.  We showed the house for potential renters or buyers. We decided to buy a house but we did not know the exact closing date(which ended up being Dec 28th).  Prior to knowing, my husband "estimated" we would be out mid-Jan but we let her know we would be out by Jan 1st as soon as we found out we were closing.  Now she verbally told us she would not return our deposit because we did not give her 45 day notice(it did not say we had to do this in the lease plus she told up we could get out of the lease due to the mold), also she said that it will cost $1000 to get the weeds out of the yard(we hired professional lanscaper the whole time we were there), plus she said she would rather clean the house herself(instead of our cleaner) and was deducting $250 for that. So out of our $3100 deposit, she said she would give us $90 back!  We kept her house in immaculate condition and this is not fair at all. The HOA is currently battling with her as are the other neighbors about other issues. We don't know what to do or where to go from here? We got nothing in writing from her stating that she was keeping the deposit, but we don't know what to do at this point - can you advise?
Apiatan
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:08 am

Landlord Will Not Return Security Deposit

Postby Duck-Hwan » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:47 pm

Donna,

Wow, what an ordeal.  The landlord is required by law to go through a very specific process in which to make a claim on your security deposit. What I would do is look-up the Florida statute http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_St on Landlord/tenant law that refers to security deposit 83.49 and 83.51 Landlord?bligation to maintain premises.  

Read these and then take the landlord to small claims court or get an attorney to sue her.  You probably have a good case for damages against the landlord. At the very least in small claims court she will lose because she did not follow the law to make a claim on your deposit. Of course, I do not have you lease and highly encourage you to seek advice of a landlord/tenant attorney.  

I hope that helps.

Regards,

Steve Schiffer

Olde Town Brokers, Inc.
Duck-Hwan
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:28 am


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