Deposit charges after refund?

By Molly

Our lease was supposed to be up Sept 1, 08.  We bought a house so called her (and written notice) 30 days in advance we would be vacating the property 8-24 but would pay the whole month and not break the lease.  We met with her at the house on the 24th returned keys, she refunded us $795 of our 800 damage deposit.  $5 taken out for dirty drip pans.

The neighbor called me 8-25 and told me a new family moved in.  Again we were paid up until Sept 1.  I called landlord on 8-25 to refund us $146 because she had new renters.  After much debate she ended up sending a check for the exact amt.

On 8-27 I recieved and cashed her refund check.  The neighbor again called me and said the new renters moved out already.  (land lord has had many many renters and cannot keep them) The landlord does not know I know they moved out.

On  9-20 I recieved a letter with two reciepts.

Lowe’s dated 09-07-08 for $14.82 for drip pans (she already took the agreed $5 out of our deposit.

Home Depot dated 09-15-08 for $29.76 for a garage door opener not returned.  (It was verbally agreed I would send it to her in the mail, which I did, and she got it after she bought a new one)

she hand wrote a reciept for:

$14.82 drip pans

$29.76 garage door remote not returned

$104.83     08-27 thru 08-31 No rent collected error made in refund check

She credited us the following:

$5.00 withheld from damage deposit

.40 interest on $800 for 92 das @.20%

amount due upon reciept $144.01

SO MY QUESTION: Can she still take money from us after she already gave the deposit back?  She could have not given it back until everything was bought and returned to her.  And just because her new renters moved out does that mean we should pay 8-27 thru 8-31? It doesn’t seem right.  And it’s not my fault they moved out.  We did not sublet this house.  She found the new renter the day we moved out.

I did call her and tell her I was not paying this.  She has not returned the phone call but would like to be prepared to have some info to back myself up.  If I am right… THANK YOU!

Edited on: Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 4:32 pm

6 Responses to “Deposit charges after refund?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


April 14th, 2009 3:33 pm

It sounds like the landlord has been fair with you. Even though she had the property rented quickly, she agreed to refund a portion of the rent you had already agreed to pay. Yes, I agree she shouldn’t double dip, but your agreement was through the 1st so that was your obligation. Your landlord might have allowed people to start moving in, even though their contract didn’t start until the 1st. So my point… the landlord gave you the entire deposit back and even gave you an extra check because you cornered her about renting it to someone else…

Isn’t it only fair that you too are fair with her? I would say give her a portion of the money back. She was more than fair with you, time to return the favor


April 14th, 2009 3:34 pm

It looks like yuo have two real choices when your landlord calls you back:

1) You can play hard ball and refuse to return any of the money.
POSSIBLE PROBLEM: Eventually the charges could end up on a credit report as a collections.
2) You can be fair and work with the charges. This doesn’t mean you have to give all she is asking back, but you should negotiate a fair settlement.
POSSIBLE PROBLEM: You feel like you have to give back something that you shouldn’t.

It’s up to you what you do. For $200 it isn’t even worth risking a collection charge. Be fair.

“the renter”

April 14th, 2009 3:35 pm

I’ve read all of your comments and some of you said do what’s fair…I want to do what’s right. Although she was nothing but invading for the 4 months we lived there. I want to be FINISHED with her. Examples of invasion: when my infant was 4 days old and my husband was working midnights she stayed at my house cleaning out her things out of the basement until 9:30 PM. I told her at 7 I would like her to finish quickly or come back the next day. For all of you with a newborn know how tiring it is especially when you hubby isn’t there. WE JUST GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AND I HAD A C_SECTION.
She also needed to fix her basement, it was moldy and flooded. I understand she needed to get it fixed. But for 3 of the months, she would send people over (contractors) at all hours of the day without calling me and telling me they would come. Then called me 2 times when I wouldn’t let them in, and said from now on with or without notice I needed to let these people in. Granted we lived in a safe little town, I don’t know who these people are. They didn’t have marked trucks I told her it would just be easier if I know in advance. AGAIN, it was molded and flooded for 3 months but did nothing about it. Just had people come and look. It shouldn’t have taken her that long to do something about it. Can you imagine all the water, must, and mold after that long?
The last straw of moving before our lease was when she hired someone to fix the basement, she told us our water would be shut off for 2 days. NOW…if you have kids you KNOW you need water to bathe, feed, and clean bottles, pump access. ect.
I’ve lived in apt. and houses for 6 years, and never have I had problems with landlords. I am very respectful, and always do what’s right. I’ve had nothing but great references.
I know I need to put my bullheadedness behind me, I guess everything just added up throughout the 4 months and now she wants more. I will give her money back, it’s not the issue but the new lease was signed with the new renters doesn’t that void my obligation to pay the rest of the month? And for some of you who think I should give her a portion back how much??? And for what? Because if I write her this check I would like a reciept. Detailed of what I’m paying her for


April 14th, 2009 3:35 pm

As for the amount, that’s up to you. I understand your frustration and can empathize. It does sound like your landlord has been a little over berring the last little while, but at least she is concerned about fixing the problems. I would suggest that you give her no less than the extra cost for the drip pans. (that was the actual cost and should be fair) As for the rent, well you can keep it, or agree to pay all or a portion of it back. If the landlord really had someone rent it out, then no, you should pay a thing… but if it fell through, then yes, you should refund all of it. Hope that helps.
Good luck with the new baby!


April 14th, 2009 3:33 pm

Who’s your landlord, I want to rent from her! She sounds like a good person to deal with. Although, I do disagree somewhat with the last comment. I don’t know if I would give into paying her back. This is her business, she should learn to wait a week or two before refunding the deposit. She paid it, so take the money and run!!


April 14th, 2009 3:33 pm

Blair, you are an idiot! It’s bad renters like you that make landlords turn into jerks! Might I suggest the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Not much more to add to that.


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