I rented a Vacation home in Point Roberts Wa. I reserved 3 months @ $1750 per month, $850 deposit and no agreement or lease signed. Because of poor conditions of the home, After 2 months and 1 1/2 weeks notice we left. The home owner is refusing to refund our deposit. DO WE HAVE RIGHTS OR GROUNDS TO COLLECT OUT DEPOSIT???
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Washington
Communicating with home owner and negoicating a lower refund amount.
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Question: I rented a Vacation home in Point Roberts Wa. I reserved 3 months @ $1750 per month, $850 deposit and no agreement or lease signed. Because of poor conditions of the home, After 2 months and 1 1/2 weeks notice we left. The home owner is refusing to refund our deposit. DO WE HAVE RIGHTS OR GROUNDS TO COLLECT OUT DEPOSIT???
Response: Yes, you do. You have a right to ask for full refund of this deposit because the Landlord did not follow proper procedure for collecting the deposit in the first place: there is no lease or written agreement signed; you were not given the conditions and terms spelling out when Landlord can retain the Security Deposit; you were not given a checklist as to the conditions of the premises. See Revised Code of Washington Section 58.18.26, 58.18.270 and 58.18.280. If the Landlord refuses to refund the Security Deposit after your written demand, you can file a Small Claim against the Landlord.
The lawsuit would be filed at the Courthouse in the County where the property is located. Click on the link below for Small Claims forms and instructions:
Moneys paid as deposit or security for performance by tenant — Written Rental Agreement to specify terms and conditions for retention by landlord — Written checklist required.
If any moneys are paid to the landlord by the tenant as a deposit or as security for performance of the tenant's obligations in a lease or rental agreement, the lease or rental agreement shall be in writing and shall include the terms and conditions under which the deposit or portion thereof may be withheld by the landlord upon termination of the lease or rental agreement. If all or part of the deposit may be withheld to indemnify the landlord for damages to the premises for which the tenant is responsible, the rental agreement shall be in writing and shall so specify. No deposit may be collected by a landlord unless the rental agreement is in writing and a written checklist or statement specifically describing the condition and cleanliness of or existing damages to the premises and furnishings, including, but not limited to, walls, floors, countertops, carpets, drapes, furniture, and appliances, is provided by the landlord to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy. The checklist or statement shall be signed and dated by the landlord and the tenant, and the tenant shall be provided with a copy of the signed checklist or statement. No such deposit shall be withheld on account of normal wear and tear resulting from ordinary use of the premises. The tenant has the right to request one free replacement copy of the written checklist. If the landlord collects a deposit without providing a written checklist at the commencement of the tenancy, the landlord is liable to the tenant for the amount of the deposit, and the prevailing party may recover court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. This section does not limit the tenant's right to recover moneys paid as damages or security under RCW 59.18.280.
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