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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37884
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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My lease commercial property ended December 31st , my

Customer Question

my lease for a commercial property ended December 31st , my security deposit was 1200 .My landlord has not given me an explanation or money ...I have contacted them no less than 6 times ...they have just said I'm not getting anything and that they are busy .I live in the state of Ohio ...wasn't sure what my rights are .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Did they send you any type of written itemized letter about why they were keeping the deposit?

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Did you actually vacate the property Dec 31?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i vacated the property and returned the keys on the 31st and they have not sent me a thing ...was wondering if the stae Ohio is one of those states that give you double if over 30 days
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Under Ohio law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has moved out.

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Further, under Ohio Code 5321.16, it states:

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B. Upon termination of the rental agreement any property or money held by the landlord as a security deposit may be applied to the payment of past due rent and to the payment of the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with section 5321.05 of the Revised Code or the rental agreement.

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Any deduction from the security deposit shall be itemized and identified by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant together with the amount due, within thirty days after termination of the rental agreement and delivery of possession. The tenant shall provide the landlord in writing with a forwarding address or new address to which the written notice and amount due from the landlord may be sent. If the tenant fails to provide the landlord with the forwarding or new address as required, the tenant shall not be entitled to damages or attorneys fees under division (C) of this section.

(C) If the landlord fails to comply with division (B) of this section, the tenant may recover the property and money due him, together with damages in an amount equal to the amount wrongfully withheld, and reasonable attorneys fees.

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So yes, this would appear to be a clear breach of Ohio law and would subject the landlord to double damages if you were to sue him in small claims court.

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So the landlord has opened a big can of worms here and it is time to make them "unbusy" by filing suit..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you so much ...what if now they say there were damages ...since they have went over the 30 days ...is that make it so they cant get those .
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

The statute doesn't say that the landlord couldn't sue you for any damages that they can prove that you are responsible for, just that you can recover twice the deposit "wrongfully withheld" and attorney fees.

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So yes, the landlord could countersue you for any damages he could prove.

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thanks

Barrister