I Want Security Deposit Back From My Landlord

By acisej21

I need some advice so that I can take the right steps with my former landlord.  My fiance and I vacated our rental unit after 3 years of renting in a month to month lease, and we had given the landlord a months notice as mandated in Vermont.  When we vacated the unit, we cleaned the unit, repaired any damage we had caused, and sent the landlord a letter indicating our hope for the return of our full security deposit.  However, I received a notice from him stating that none of our deposit would be returned due to damage to the carpet and pet odor.

It is a very complicated situation, but here are some logistics:

We had a month to month lease in a pet friendly apartment. It can be seen on  apartment lease form. When we first moved in we had one cat, which we were allowed to have.  Shortly after moving in, we adopted 2 kittens.  The Humane Society called our landlord to get permission from him, which he granted.  A year later, we adopted a puppy, again with (documented) landlord permission.  In the letter the landlord states that we had three cats and a dog which he was unaware of.  Obviously, this is inaccurate.  He then said we should be lucky that he did not increase the rent on us because we owned these pets.

The first winter we were there, the downstairs flooded.  The landlord fixed the foundation in the spring.  However, we had serious mold issues arise from the flooding in the hardwood floor. The landlord had an insurance adjuster come appraise the damage, and then told us the floor would be replaced.  This was never done, the mold was never removed, and I suffered from severe upper respiratory infections in the following years, which are documented by my primary care physician.  In the landlords response letter, he claims that we never wanted the floor replaced as it would be an “inconvenience” to us and WE chose not to move forward with fixing it.  This is completely inaccurate; I accrued over $8,000 in medical bills from how sick I was in the three years we lived there.

The upstairs carpet was damaged due to the bedroom door swelling in the summer and catching on the carpet.  This occurred in all three rooms in which there was carpet and the doors would swell in the summer.  We did not feel we were responsible for replacing the carpet as it was not our fault.  In the letter, the landlord indicates that he believes it is from our pets and we will be held responsible for replacing the carpet.  He states that he will be keeping out $750 deposit to replace the carpet in the ONE room. I would be more than willing to meet him halfway on the carpet, as we did house train a puppy on them :-)

Additionally, when we first moved in, the driveway was unpaved and very bumpy.  The landlord informed us he would be paving it in the spring.  Needless to say, three years later the driveway was still not paved.  However, a black tarp-like material had been laid down underneath the gravel.  When it rained all of the water sat on top of the tarp causing extremely deep pot holes and mud.  My fiance has a very low riding Audi, which he bottomed out over and over again on the pot holes in the driveway as there was absolutely no way to avoid them.  We ended up having to pay over $6000 to replace a damaged water pump and parts to the exhaust due to damage sustained from bottoming out.  We still have to replace other parts as well that were damaged due to bottoming out repeatedly.

Long story short, I would like advice on how to proceed with my landlord.  My fiance and I do not feel that it is fair for him to withhold our security deposit and are considering taking him to small claims court though we have a copy of rent receipt which we can easily produce in the court..  We do not expect him to pay my medical bills or for the repairs to the car; we simply want the security deposit back.  We feel that our landlord was very negligent, but we want to make sure that we aren’t simply whiny and crazy.  The landlord states that we are simply avoiding taking any responsibility for damage in the apartment, which simply is not the case. Any advice would be so extremely appreciated.



Edited on: Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 9:02 pm

8 Responses to “I Want Security Deposit Back From My Landlord”

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


January 11th, 2013 8:00 am

It would be better idea to take a legal advise


January 13th, 2013 11:20 am

If you have all documents of human society, then I think you need not to worry much. Let him bring this to the court. When you will produce all the documents the things will be on your favor


January 15th, 2013 2:40 pm

Keep your rent reciept ready with you. That only is the proof that you had given your landlord security deposit.


January 17th, 2013 6:00 pm

Every state has a specific rules regarding security deposit. Your ladlord cant hold your security deposit just like that. Take a legal help soon.


January 19th, 2013 9:20 pm

There are many websites and forums for landlord and tenant rights, go through them .


January 22nd, 2013 12:40 am

It?s a tenant right to get back the security deposit after your lease agreement ends.


January 24th, 2013 4:00 am

Your landlord cant use security for pet odors and every day tear and wear. Remember that.


January 26th, 2013 7:20 am

File a complain here https://www.rentalprotectionagency.com/report_landlord.php. This link is for reportign bad landlords.


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