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Can the owner request additional security deposit ($1000…

Customer Question
Can the owner request additional...
Can the owner request additional security deposit ($1000 each year for 3 years) years later if the annual amount to match rent is paid with lease renewal? Upon moving, may the owner charge above the amount of the security deposit ( 4k) because he thinks 76 year old lady tenant smoked? Thank you.
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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3/25/2018
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13,472
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
ok
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
no ... no phone call
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Thanks for your patience. So, when your lease is up for renewal, landlords can ask for additional security deposit funds as well as increasing the rent. During the lease term, the landlord cannot ask for an additional security deposit. Most landlords don't ask for more than what the initial security deposit is only because unless there are significant damages to the property, they'll just have to return that balance back to the tenant anyway after they moved out.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
My neighbor was charged an additional $1000 a year last three years there (because another neighbor said she smoked). She paid each time. Upon moving he said she owed an additional $4000 for damage from smoke, a dent from wheelchair in refrigerator and front door dents from EMT's. She had lived there for 10 years, installed with his permission a walk in shower and left behind all three ceiling fan/lights she had installed again with permission.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

That's terrible. I think you and your friend may need to take some action against this landlord because it seems as if they are scamming the both of you regarding the security deposit.

Security deposit issues are common among landlords and tenants. Part of the reason is because what is considered necessary for repair/cleaning vs. reasonable wear and tear is subjective. Each party has an interest in keeping as much money as possible. Nonetheless, the landlord has responsibilities under the law that must be recognized.

Generally, the law requires that the landlord provide an itemized list of the cleaning and repairs that must be done, along with the charges owed or the remaining amount after the deductions usually within 14-30 days depending on your jurisdiction. The failure to do so can lead to damages paid out by the landlord.

In addition, landlords are required to only deduct for reasonable expenses related to cleaning and repair. They cannot charge a tenant’s security deposit to remodel the premises. A fresh coat of paint is a common, reasonable charge. A brand new chandelier is not a common, reasonable charge.

If you have concerns about the timing or reasonableness of your security deposit letter, it is important to begin discussions with the landlord now. Sometimes, they either forget or they are just negligent in their actions so you have to take the lead. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a letter that puts the landlord on notice that their actions regarding the security deposit is unlawful (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
No help, thanks anyway. I was hoping you could give me something I didn't know. She is going to have to get an attorney - tough when you are 78 to have that expense. Good Bye
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

I'm sorry if there is something else that you were looking for, but unfortunately, what I provided are the best and most legal options to you. I can understand if you are frustrated with this process, but please don't shoot the messenger. I"m going to opt out and see if another expert has a differing opinion.

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