Landlord charging security deposit

By Andrew

I lived in an apartment for 6 months, after moving out i heard nothing back from them about my security deposit for 9 months.  I was busy with other things and had forgotten about it, then recieved a letter from a debt collector saying I not only will not get back my security deposit, but I also owe an additional $210.  The original security deposit was about $1300.  I wrote back and asked for specifics as to why I owe money, and they sent back the walkthrough from the landlord saying the carpet was stained.  Even if the carpet was stained and needed replaced, I don’t feel like I should owe the full replacement on this carpet, as it was old and worn when I moved in.  Also, I was wondering what the policy was on interest on security deposits.  The interest they showed that I was recieving on my security deposit added up to be about 0.5%.  If you could help out on this matter it would be greatly appreciated, I’m stuck and don’t know how to proceed with this.

Edited on: Thursday, June 9th, 2011 12:43 pm

3 Responses to “Landlord charging security deposit”

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


March 23rd, 2009 9:06 am

Problems with security deposits is very common and can be a bit tricky to deal with. Each State will have different State laws governing security deposits. Some may require interest to accumulate on your rent deposit, but most likely it won’t. The bigger issue is how the landlord proceeded after your move-out. Did you provide the landlord with a forwarding address? Did the landlord ever send you a break-down of the charges?
I’ve seen many landlords that quickly send things to collection agencies without following proper deposit reporting laws.
The RPA can deal with the collection agency to request a proof of charges and hopefully mediate a fair resolution. The worst thing you can do is ignore the collection notice. It will ruin your credit.


March 23rd, 2009 9:35 am

Yes, I left the landlord with a forwarding address, and no, I never received anything at all from the landlord until the notice from the collection agency.

Randy Hepworth

March 25th, 2009 6:13 am

Hey Andrew–
I was just reading your blog and thought I would give my 2 cents. If the charge has gone to a collection agency, it may still not be on your credit report; so you may still have time to defend your credit report. The very worst thing that can happen is for you to do nothing. The $210 will quickly turn into $400 to $500 and possibly even more after they tack on fees and court cost.
I would contact your previous landlord to see what is going on and to find out why you never recieved a break-down of charges against your security deposit. I’d start there. But you’ve got to do it quick if you want to save your credit. You may even consider paying the $210 to the collection agency to stop it from getting worse, then dispute the charges.


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