Getting deposit back from out of country landlord

By helpme

Our Landlord is living in India. He does not use a property manager here in the US. I have been responsible for taking care of all the maintenance, repairs and financing of repairs until the next month in which then I take it out of the rent. The house is getting to the point of being 20 years old and basic things need to be fixed such as plumbing, frigerator, flooring, water heater, etc. There are also some dangerous issues that need to be taken care of like the deck is rotting, the rail on the front porch is ready to fall off, and the fence is rotten and falling apart. We are just renting month to month. I am tired of having to take care of all these fixes and paying for them out of my pocket, some being very expensive. On top of that we are paying rent which would be considered at the top of the rental scale for our area. I have asked our landlord to get a property manager or lower the rent so that I can be compensated for all the time I am spending this house. He will not respond. So my husband and I have found a different house with rent that is a $1000 less per month.  I am being total by the people in the neighborhood not to pay the last months rent because I will not get my deposit back from our landlord. My understanding is that since he is in India, I have no legal recourse to get my deposit back. The house is in better condition that when we moved in just because my husband and I did a ton of yard work clearing away weed and thistles knee high and patching tons of holes in the house and repainting all of which we paid for out of our pocket because he would not help with any of it.

What can I do to make sure I get my deposit back? What are my legal options for getting it back if he chooses not to give it back? Are the neighbors all right that I should just not pay the last month as much as I don’t feel right doing it? We paid a desposit of one months rent plus $500 and I really can’t afford to loose it. We have taken extra care of the house just to guarentee we would have no reason to loose it.

Edited on: Thursday, March 27th, 2014 3:13 pm

One Response to “Getting deposit back from out of country landlord”

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


February 14th, 2014 5:19 pm

1. Pay your last months rent or you risk eviction, which will stay on your record for a long time.

2. If you do not get your deposit back, request an itemized statement.

3. If you still do not get your deposit back, take your landlord to court.

4. Assuming you get the judgement, since he is unlikely to appear and/or appeal. Then you can file for wage garnishment or a lien on his property (the house you just rented).

He will never be able to sell the house with a lien on it, but you need to go through the proper channels first. Once he tries to sell the house (perhaps years down the road) and there is a lien on it from not paying your security deposit back. You will have the judgement as proof and eventually get your money… with interest in most states.

You may want to consult your lease, landlord tenant handbook for your state, and legal aid before doing any of this.


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