My landlord has not returned my deposit. I moved out April 29th. I just found out yesterday that he is stating there was damage to the garage door.

I was never provided a list of these so-called damages. Do I have any recourse and can I get back my full deposit?

Asked on June 3, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Tennessee lawyer, but my research suggests that you have some very definite rights under the Tennessee Landlord Tenant Act, and that your landlord may very well be violating those rights, depending on all of the facts.  You almost certainly can do something about this, and I would find a lawyer in your area who is familiar with landlord-tenant law, as soon as possible.  One place to look for a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com

What little I've read indicates that there is a 10-day period, after you move out, in which the landlord can make a list of damages he wants to charge against your deposit, and he has to give you notice of the list and a chance to come see the damages for yourself.  So this is very definitely worth following up.

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What you need to do is go and look at the terms of the lease you had. See if there is a time frame listed for the landlord to walk through the property and than either return the deposit or claim damages and keep all or part of the deposit. You also want to see if there are any terms about how walk throughs are conducted.

Once you do that you can either attempt to discuss with the landlord but I will assume you already tried that. If so than I would imagine you do not have date stamped photos of the property so your best option is to contact a local attorney who may be able to review the lease and help you if there is a way to get your money back. You must weigh the costs and determine the best route. You also can always contact landlord tenant court and the clerk will walk you through beginning an action on your own if you believe you have grounds to do so


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