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No, the landlord cannot do this legally. It's a breach of contract on the landlord's part. If the landlord will not voluntarily refund your money, file suit against the landlord in small claims court..you can do this without a lawyer. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment.
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