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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 7310
Experience:  Attorney 35 years extensive and active real estate practice; represents both landlords and tenants
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We lived in the USVI. ST Croix. I vacated my property July

Customer Question

we lived in the USVI. ST Croix. I vacated my property July 30th, 2015. My landlord was unable to return to the VI at that time and appointed a friend of his, Bill McCormick to do a final walk through of the property with me. He did and told me I went way above and beyond in leaving the place clean. I even replaced a chair that he commented on was "normal wear and tear." Upon leaving, Bill made the comment, "between you and I, it is a shame you worked so hard to keep this clean and leave it beautiful, as his daughter will be moving in as soon as you leave and she will trash the place and sell anything valuable before he arrives."
True to his word, I was told the landlord's daughter moved in hours after I left the property.
I even had a professional cleaning crew do a through deep clean of the property which I paid $359 for and gave $120 worth of tip.
When I inquired before I left, how I was going to get the security deposit back, my landlord stated that "if you read you lease I have 30 days to inspect the property to see if anything is damaged." I did read the lease and our lease stated he had 3 weeks to RETURN the deposit and nothing more.
My walk thru was with his assigned representive and all was immaculate. I did leave a load of towels, cleaned in the dryer. and I left my son's activity board full of his papers. I meant to pack this. I left 6 unopened bottles of water in the frig and I left a bottle of shampoo in the shower.
My landlord was a scumbag the entire time we lived there. Our deposit was $2500. When my husband a Lt Col in the army currently deployed inquired about our deposit, my landlord replied that we would not be getting one as "his wife left the place filthy including the stove and refrig" and he had to remove 5 truckloads of trash. This is simply not true as I stated I had a professional team of cleaners who cleaned everything the day before I left including the stove.
What can we do?
We have PCS'd to the states, SC. My husband is still deployed.
Do we not have any rights?
I know according to property laws, a landlord must submit an itemized list of damages to keep the security deposit. I also know VI property laws are protenant.
Help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.
Good morning. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. But I just read this question for the first time about two minutes ago, so please don't blame me for that. I'm sorry to hear about The problem that you have with this unscrupulous landlord. Your interpretation of the lease is correct. The inspection must take place as it did, on the day you leave and not within 30 days. I hope you obtained a copy of his assistant's inspection report of the condition that he saw. That will be important to prove that you are entitled to a full refund of the deposit. Unfortunately though, the only way you can obtain that is through a (small claims) court action. Typically, rental security deposit laws provide for the payment of a tenant's attorney's fees, so you could leave the matter in the hands of a USVI or a JAG attorney, And it shouldn't cost you money out-of-pocket to go after the landlord.
I hope that this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. That is the only way I will be compensated for assisting you. Bonuses are appreciated too. I will be happy to answer follow-up questions which relate to this one. Also, since we are not acting as your attorney be sure to confirm our information with a local attorney. Thanks for choosing JUST ANSWER.

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