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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53998
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I live in Marin County and am renting. I have rented an apartment

Customer Question

I live in Marin County and am renting. I have rented an apartment for 12 years and last week I was given a notice to vacate because the landlord was considering remodeling the units for us to purchase as a possibility. I was on a lease then it went to month to month rent. The landlord served notice to the remaining tenants in their units, but still have one unit on the market available to rent.
Last night I was asked if I would stay and pay $3500 a month ( a $1000 dollar a month increase) and our neighbors received a similar notice of a 54 percent increase.I am going to move out, so my question is. If they are refurbishing the unit, will I get my security deposit back? Are they allowed to use my security deposit to refurbish the unit ( nothing has been refurbished in over 10 years).
Is what they are doing legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
Yes, you absolutely are entitled to a refund of all your deposit. If they fail to do so timely (within 21 days after you leave), not only are they liable for your deposit, you can be eligible in addition for up to two times your deposit for the bad faith of the landlord in failing to timely refund your deposit. So, if that happens, file suit against your landlord...you can do this in small claims court without a lawyer. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons he is being sued, your landlord will want to settle without a hearing to try to avoid the judgment and the punitive damages due to bad faith.
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