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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34788
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I recently was sued for a rental deposit that had not been

Customer Question

I recently was sued for a rental deposit that had not been returned yet. They claimed no damage, but, pictures showed differently. I liked the husband, so I was trying to figure ways he could get something back. Then I received court papers. In court, I showed up with pictures, showing obvious damage. Much of it was discovered after the papers being served to me. The judge asked him four times if I had given him a letter within 30 days, finally, he said no. The judge asked me if I had. I said no. Case closed!! I told the judge that I had not received his mailing address, until I was served. She claimed it did not matter. I told the judge there has been excessive damage that I was still getting bids for, she claimed it did not matter.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Title 1 Code of civil procedure Chapter 21, Article 12 residential rental property, WY. statute 1-21-1208 (a) reads...
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: sorry, Wyoming
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Damages have come to $9,773. I'm trying to file an appeal, but it's been a bit...confusing and "Legal Aid" or "Equal justice" will not assist in appeals. I was told by a local lawyer that it's one of those, "I have to work and live in this town" things. Very frustrating!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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The statute says this:

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The balance of any deposit and prepaid rent and a written itemization of any deductions from the deposit together with reasons therefor, shall be delivered or mailed without interest to the renter within thirty (30) days after termination of the rental agreement or within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the renter's new mailing address, whichever is later. If there is damage to the residential rental unit, this period shall be extended by thirty (30) days. The renter shall within thirty (30) days of termination of the rental agreement, notify the owner or designated agent of the location where payment and notice may be made or mailed.

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So that means that you have up to 60 days in total to send the tenant an itemized list of damages and/or any refund. If they gave you a forwarding address it can be as little as 45 days (15 days + 30 days for damages).

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If they didn't provide a forwarding address, then you have to send it to the rental address certified mail so you have proof of mailing it.

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So if you didn't do that, then you are kind of stuck here..

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I don't like the outcome, because in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience,even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

Now, with that said, that doesn't prevent you from suing them in small claims court under a property damage claim. You just can't withhold anything from the deposit..

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So you do have another recourse here...

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thanks

Barrister

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