How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Richard - Bizlaw Your Own Question
Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10639
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Richard - Bizlaw is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is this real legal advise? I am in a dispute with a landlord

Customer Question

hi is this real legal advise?
JA: I'm the Lawyer's Assistant. I work with them to help customers like you.
Customer: I am in a dispute with a landlord who lives out of state and is withholding our security deposit.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: North Carolina The owner lives in NY. The propery is managed through a realty management organizaiton
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no we are trying to file a suit, but the realty property company said they are not responsible. They cannot give us the owner's address.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: If we sue the Realty company will it be a waste of time? As they are not the ones holding our deposit? How can we sue the owner who is in NY?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

The landlord must keep the security deposit in NC or post a bond to secure repayment of the security deposit. They also have to provide you with the location of the bank or the insurance company where the bond is located. Below is the text of the act.

§ 42-50. Deposits from the tenant. Security deposits from the tenant in residential dwelling units shall be deposited in a trust account with a licensed and federally insured depository institution lawfully doing business in this State or the landlord may, at his option, furnish a bond from an insurance company licensed to do business in North Carolina. The security deposits from the tenant may be held in a trust account outside of the State of North Carolina only if the landlord provides the tenant with an adequate bond in the amount of said deposits. The landlord or his agent shall notify the tenant within 30 days after the beginning of the lease term of the name and address of the bank or institution where his deposit is currently located or the name of the insurance company providing the bond.

Here is a link to the NC Attorney General explanation of your rights.

You should have been informed of where the security deposit was maintained. If you were not, that will be part of your complaint. Your next step should be to get the following confirmation from the management company. First, they agree that you are entitled to return of 100% of your security deposit. Second that the security deposit is neither in possession of the management company nor does the management company know where in NC the deposit is maintained and that they are not aware of any bond posted by the landlord as required by law. Once you get that confirmation contact the Attorney General to see if they can help you. If that does not work, you will probably have to sue in regular court but you should ask for your attorneys fees because you could not sue the out of state landlord in small claims court. To get the case heard you had to go to regular court which is not designed for pro se plaintiffs.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 11 months ago.

I sent you the answer to your question a few days ago. If you do not have any additional questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 11 months ago.

You still have not rated my answer to your question. Please do so as that is how the site operates, experts only get credit when you rate the answer.