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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 28089
Experience:  Attorney
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I'm a tenant in an apartment community (corporate owner

Customer Question

I'm a tenant in an apartment community (corporate owner Greystar). We put in a 60 notice in August. Paid August and September rent as usual. Mid-september, for an unknown reason (office mistake?) an employee completely emptied our downstairs garage, which
was full of household items, etc. We've made contact, no one seems to know what they are going to do to remedy the situation. We turned in a list as they requested, with values where we could supply them. So, haven't heard anything, moved out mid October was
told it was okay not to pay the prorated rent for October by assistant manager. They still have our pet deposit as well. How do we expedite, is there a precedent for this kind of thing, and who is the decision maker (who should we be talking to?) This is in
Austin Texas, by the way.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Under Texas law, a landlord must return a tenant's security deposit within 30 days after the tenant vacates the premises. Tex. Prop. Code, Section 92.103. So, if you left in mid-October, they may still have a little time. They're allowed to keep any money they're entitled to as a result of your breaching the lease. There won't be anyone authorized to discuss the deposit with you until it's been 30 days (plus a couple extra for it to get to you in the mail). They cannot keep your pet deposit unless your pet caused damage to the premises, and they can only keep your deposit if you damaged the premises or owed rent when you left. But that's unfortunately not something you can expedite.

If they agreed to waive your obligation to pay pro-rated rent in October in exchange for you not suing them for the value of your belongings, that would be enforceable. But watch in case they keep those days, anyway. You'd have to be able to prove that they offered to waive the rent, or you could sue in Small Claims Court for the value of your items, because then they breached the agreement.

Regarding your property, any manager should be able to negotiate with you to pay you for the items that were thrown away. If they will not negotiate with you or they're not returning your calls, you can go to Small Claims Court at any time. However, it could be in your best interests to wait until you get the deposit letter before you file the lawsuit - for a couple of reasons.

1. You'll only have to pay one filing fee if you put the cases together (and only have to go to one trial).

2. If you're suing them, anyway, they may try to use that as an excuse for not sending the deposit back.

3. If they didn't charge you rent for October, they may consider it a settlement - and that's something it would help to know before you choose what to do next.

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