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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 12182
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Do I have a valid Case? I gave notice via email (landlord

Customer Question

Do I have a valid Case? I gave notice via email (landlord not on island) 10/15/16 and it was acknowledge by landlord via email. I notified them I was moving 11/10/16 (no specific days of notice in lease agreement but I told her via email in September I was looking due to financial struggle) Landlord refused to allow me to pro rate the 10 days of November. Re rented the house 10/28/16 but didn't allow new tenant to move until 12/1 she then told me I owed her a full months rent even though I was leaving 11/10/16. She initially refused to do a walk through with me until 11/30 but then after renting the house, said I could do one 10,11th, or 12th.
She ended up keeping my $2400 deposit for the whole month of November although I was out on the 10th. In the lease, there is 0 fee for early lease termination. Final walk through was done on 10th and new tenant put utilities in their name.
Per Hawaii law, landlord is required to return deposit or list of charges (damage, etc) within 14 days of end of lease, even if no money is being returned. That did not happen. Lease stated deposit would be returned after 30 days so I waited and then sent a demand letter asking for my $2400 deposit back minus the 10 days of rent for a total of $1600. Landlord has ignored it. I have written documents of all of this and took a witness and video taped condition of the home which was turned over to Landords resident agent (friend). Want to proceed to small claims if I have a case. Thank you!
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

It does indeed sound like you have a valid case. Even if the landlord was initially in the right to keep all of the security deposit, it would still be necessary, as you pointed out, to send you a list of charges for why the deposit was not being returned. Since that wasn't done, you would be entitled to return of the full deposit, plus expenses associated with suing.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :)

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, and you haven't yet rated me, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue.

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