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Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6147
Experience:  Mediator, part of the Ohio Save the Dream Foreclosure project
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I rented a house for 2-1/2 years. I had a month to month lease

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I rented a house for 2-1/2 years. I had a month to month lease - I wasn't really given an option but in the beginning they assured us that they wanted to house rented for a long period of time. In the course of the time I was divorced and remarried - the owners treated me differently after that. I had a couple of times I was late - a few days - once was a mail issue the other was a job issues - I paid late fee (200+ dollars) each time. They then required me to give them another months rent and raised the rent by 150 dollars right after my divorce - again they treated me differently. Last month I was without work and I alerted them that I took a new job and my rent would be a few days late - and again the extra months deposit was expained to me just in case I had issues they were protected. In any case I recieved a letter via email that they were terminating our rental agreement and wanted me out of the house by the 30th of the month - not even the 31st. The rental agreement says 30 day notice - in any case we were out. I would have liked to repair a few things but we had no time - in getting a new job, moving and everything. Now they are refusing to return my deposit because of a few holes in the wall and floor (small) and they also owe me for propane which they have not made any move towards paying me either. Do have any resourse or am I just out the money?

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-Could you explain your situation a little more?


How many months deposit did they keep ?

Was an itemized listing of the damage provided to you ?


I will be better able to assist you with answers to the above.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Initially they kept an 1100 dollar deposit - one months rent - last year we signed another month to month lease and they reaised the rent to 1250 dollars and required another motnhs rent - when I recieved their demand for me to leave I didn't pay the last months rent as we agreed it would happen so right now they owe me the 1100 dollars rent and roughly 400 dollars in propane. I have not been given any list of damage to date - we have been out since March 30th. I was told he would come around that day so we could walk through it together but he chose not to show up - according to him he forgot.


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Under Virginia law the landlord has 45 days to produce an itemized statement of damages> failing to provide such a itemization can eliminate the landlord's claim for damages See:

§ 55-248.15:1.(A) Security deposits


§ 55-248.15:1 (C). Security deposits


C. Upon request by the landlord to a tenant to vacate, or within five days after receipt of

notice by the landlord of the tenant's intent to vacate, the landlord shall make reasonable

efforts to advise the tenant of the tenant's right to be present at the landlord's inspection of the dwelling unit for the purpose of determining the amount of security deposit to be

returned. If the tenant desires to be present when the landlord makes the inspection, he

shall so advise the landlord in writing who, in turn, shall notify the tenant of the time and

date of the inspection, which must be made within 72 hours of delivery of possession.

Upon completion of the inspection attended by the tenant, the landlord shall furnish the

tenant with an itemized list of damages to the dwelling unit known to exist at the time of

the inspection.


It appears the landlord failed to perform the walk through as required.


If the landlord does not provide an itemized list of damages with reasonable costs deducted you can sue to get your deposit back. You would file suit in the small claims court. At that hearing you raise the issue of the failed walk through, you can address the charges for damage as being excessive (you need to get your own estimate), and you can raise the issue of the early termination as a breach of the rental agreement which prevented your repair of the property. You can also raise the issue of interest not being paid to you (although given current interested rates not a big item).


The Court can award you what it determines the proper amount is out of the deposit the landlord kept. You an try to ask for the value of the propane since it is a benefit that the landlord is retaining. This might be a little more difficult to obtain. You may be able to get this from a subsequent tenant under a theory of "unjust enrichment".


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This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.Information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.



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