How can I make my landlord return my rent deposit?

I rented a house for 1 year; the landlord and I signed a 6 month agreement. Now that I moved out he doesn’t want to give my rent deposit back even though the property was left in good conditions except for a burnt room carpet and a couple of dead trees, which I told him that I would replace. He accepted at the time that we had the walk through but later on, he called me stating that he doesn’t want me to replace anything and that I could sue him or whatever I wanted to do but he won’t pay me back.

Asked on September 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you signed a six month agreement with your landlord, you were basically in a hold over status for six months and really without a lease. You basically were living month to month. So the typical rights you had at the end of the tenancy were absent than if you had moved out the very last day of your tenancy. If the carpet is burnt and dead trees were present and these were both your fault, then the costs to repair or replace would be your burden.  It is your landlord's choice to not allow you to replace the trees or carpeting and his choice when to the repair. At this point, you can certainly inform him he was to give you an itemized cost breakdown with supporting receipts or estimates of the amount deducted from your security deposit. Then march over to your state attorney general and file a complaint against him and see how fast he produces cash back to you (assuming the estimated costs are not more than your deposit).

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