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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I moved out of an apartment complex March 31st, 2015. I have

Customer Question

I moved out of an apartment complex March 31st, 2015. I have been contacting the apartment complex over the past week through telephone and e-mail. I finally got ahold of the property manager to find out the status of my deposit today (June 1, 2015). My deposit was $775. She said I owed money (approx. $88). I have not received the itemized deduction letter or anything indicating the fees associated. What legal recourse do I have?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, Texas security deposit laws are somewhat weak. However, this link provides you with a very good overview of both the law, and tips on how to protect yourself, and how to pursue a remedy with your landlord to resolve these types of disputes.http://texastenant.org/security_deposit.htmlUltimately, your remedy is to file a small claims dispute with the landlord for breach of contract, but I do hope that you are able to reach a resolution with them short of that (again the link above gives you a very good "flow chart" for dispute resolution for these matters).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I already found that information. What are the rules for a landlord to send a notice about deductions? Is it 30 days? 60? And what recourse do I have if they do not send notification?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
30 days (see: Tex. Prop. Sec. 92.103: http://law.onecle.com/texas/property/92.103.html).Your remedy if they do not send it is to sue in small claims court. There is a bad faith withholding statute as well See: http://law.onecle.com/texas/property/92.109.html - so if you prove that your landlord withheld the deposit in bad faith (wasn't just late in returning it) you can also claim damages and penalties against them in your small claims case.For information on suing in small claims court in Texas, see: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/sls/forms/How-to-Sue-in-Small-Claims-Court.pdf
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I also found that statute. The complex never sent an itemized deduction letter. Are they required to send that as well? Also, if they are owned by a Management Company, should they know how to contact the company? The property manager said she did not have the information when I asked to contact corporate office.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do I need to send a default letter or should I go ahead and just file a claim against them?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
You don't have to send the letter first, but I recommend that you try it. Going to court is time consuming and even small claims court costs a little bit of money to prosecute. If there is a chance you can resolve the dispute amicably out of court, it is usually worth putting a little bit of effort into this step first.But this is a strategy call that is up to you.

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