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I placed a deposit of $300.00 on a room I rented in a house…

Customer Question
I placed a deposit...

I placed a deposit of $300.00 on a room I rented in a house and when I told her she had bed bugs in the house she told me I had 21 days to get out. She kept $200.00 of the deposit for stuff she said belonged to me that she had to throw out like rock salt and a ladder for a bunk bed. I want to take her to court here in Grayson County, Texas. I gave her my new address on August 1st 2017 and she didn't return the $100.00 until the 7th of September. I'm a Marine and kept my room and the rest of the house very clean.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Grayson County, Texas in the city of Sherman, Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Nothing I can think of

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/11/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Richard, Lawyer replied 11 months ago
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 57,208
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

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Real Estate Lawyer: Richard, Lawyer replied 11 months ago

Good morning. You absolutely should file suit against her and since she missed the 30 day deadline, she will be deemed in bad faith and you will be entitled to amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld, and reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit. I have provided you the applicable statute below. You won't need an attorney to file this suit as small claims court is designed to be used without an attorney. Here's a guide to file this suit in small claims court: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/sls/forms/How-to-Sue-in-Small-Claims-Court.pdf

Sec. 92.109. LIABILITY OF LANDLORD. (a) A landlord who in bad faith retains a security deposit in violation of this subchapter is liable for an amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld, and the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit.

(b) A landlord who in bad faith does not provide a written description and itemized list of damages and charges in violation of this subchapter:

(1) forfeits the right to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring suit against the tenant for damages to the premises; and

(2) is liable for the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit.

(c) In an action brought by a tenant under this subchapter, the landlord has the burden of proving that the retention of any portion of the security deposit was reasonable.

(d) A landlord who fails either to return a security deposit or to provide a written description and itemization of deductions on or before the 30th day after the date the tenant surrenders possession is presumed to have acted in bad faith."

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Satisfied Customers: 57,208
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Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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