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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 118789
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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My landlord is having open houses at my apartment and I'm

Customer Question

My landlord is having open houses at my apartment and I'm worried about my damage deposit.
9 months into my lease I found a place where I could work in exchange for rent. I gave my landlord 3 months notice but assured him that I would still honor the lease, which I have done. I still owe one months rent due on the 24th. Since I am paid up, I did not bother to remove a few of my things. I have informed the landlord of all my activities regarding the apartment. When I went to check on the apartment, which I do frequently, I saw that my things had been piled up by the door. I checked craigslist to see that an open house has been scheduled for this weekend. I wrote my landlord that it would be wonderful if he could get the apartment rented early, but that I still had things there and that I was worried about people traipsing through the apartment, that I have already had professionally cleaned, without some discussion of my damage deposit. He wrote back that he would be happy to help me get the rest of my things out but pointedly refused to answer my question about the deposit. I'm upset about the entries without notice, the movement of my things, and that my deposit seems to be in jeopardy. However, I hate to make a fuss because that last rental payment is more than my deposit. What, if anything, should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If you have breached your lease, that is the only other reason he could keep your deposit besides damages. If you have continued paying rent, then in order for him to keep the security deposit is he has to prove damage beyond ordinary wear and tear. You need to make sure you keep paying rent on time to the end of the lease or he can claim you breached the lease and he can justify keeping your deposit. So until you are out of the lease completely, take pictures of the condition of everything in the apartment when you move out to prove there is no damage and if he refuses to return your deposit you can sue in small claims court to get it back.