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 Your Own Question
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55723
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
17027240
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Richard is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

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

Customer Question

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.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Grayson County, Texas in the city of Sherman, Texas
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: nothing I can think of
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 month ago.

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!

Expert:  Richard replied 1 month 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."

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as Good or Excellent (i.e., 4 or 5 stars)(hopefully Excellent/5 stars!). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!