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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17500
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I was a tenant who left a house before my lease was up. My

Customer Question

I was a tenant who left a house before my lease was up. My landlord has since leased the same house to someone else. He has not replied to my emails or phone calls regarding my deposit of $650 and two months after notifying him and leaving the house, he continues to automatically withdraw money from my account. What are my legal options since am now living in California and not Iowa? He wont answer my calls or emails.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can i file a police report and what should be filed in this situation?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

First and foremost, you need to close the account where the auto debits are going.

Second, you need to file complaint against the Landlord with the Attorney General's Office of Iowa for unfair and deceptive practice, for debiting your accounts for an apartment that is being occupied by a new Tenant:

https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/for-consumers/file-a-consumer-complaint/complaint-form/

Finally, you need to file Small Claim for the the amount of the auto withdrawals and for your deposit. Eventhough you have left Iowa, the claim must still be filed in Iowa. You can do this by mail and appear by telephone. Most Courts now offer telephonic hearings. You need to contact the Clerk's office for the procedure.

http://www.iowacourts.gov/Court_Rules__Forms/Small_Claims_Forms/

A Police Report is not proper here since you gave the Landlord access to your account. However, the Landlord's action is unfair and deceptive because the Landlord has moved in a new Tenant and should not be getting paid twice for the same apartment. The prudent thing to do here to mitigate your losses is to close the bank account in question immediately.

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