If myformer landlord has not returned my deposit, what is my next step?

He informed me the owner, which is an LLC, was broke and negotiating a new loan.

Asked on July 25, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The portion of law in Nevada that governs landlord and tenant relationships is NRS 118A..  Under that law there are subdivisions that deal with the rights and obligations of both parties.  Here is the section that deals with security deposits. What amy be pertinent to you is the last paragraph numbered "9" given your phrasing of the question here and the status of your landlord:

"4.  Upon termination of the tenancy by either party for any reason, the landlord may claim of the security or surety bond, or a combination thereof, only such amounts as are reasonably necessary to remedy any default of the tenant in the payment of rent, to repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant other than normal wear and to pay the reasonable costs of cleaning the premises. The landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized written accounting of the disposition of the security or surety bond, or a combination thereof, and return any remaining portion of the security to the tenant no later than 30 days after the termination of the tenancy by handing it to the tenant personally at the place where the rent is paid, or by mailing it to the tenant at the tenant’s present address or, if that address is unknown, at the tenant’s last known address.

      5.  If a tenant disputes an item contained in an itemized written accounting received from a landlord pursuant to subsection 4, the tenant may send a written response disputing the item to the surety. If the tenant sends the written response within 30 days after receiving the itemized written accounting, the surety shall not report the claim of the landlord to a credit reporting agency unless the surety obtains a judgment against the tenant.

      6.  If the landlord fails or refuses to return the remainder of a security deposit within 30 days after the end of a tenancy, the landlord is liable to the tenant for damages:

      (a) In an amount equal to the entire deposit; and

      (b) For a sum to be fixed by the court of not more than the amount of the entire deposit.

      7.  In determining the sum, if any, to be awarded under paragraph (b) of subsection 6, the court shall consider:

      (a) Whether the landlord acted in good faith;

      (b) The course of conduct between the landlord and the tenant; and

      (c) The degree of harm to the tenant caused by the landlord’s conduct.

      8.  Except for an agreement which provides for a nonrefundable charge for cleaning, in a reasonable amount, no rental agreement may contain any provision characterizing any security under this section as nonrefundable or any provision waiving or modifying a tenant’s rights under this section. Any such provision is void as contrary to public policy.

      9.  The claim of a tenant to security to which the tenant is entitled under this chapter takes precedence over the claim of any creditor of the landlord."

Send a demand letter for the security deposit asap by certified mail return receipt requested.  Wait at least a week after receipt and then file a suit for the return or the money including the damages to which you are entitled.  You may need to do this in Small Claims Court but you might want to try Landlord Tenant Court is available.  Good luck.


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