How doI get my security deposit returned?

I rented an apartment and moved out almost 6 months ago when the lease expired. I had to furnish a security deposit of $950 when taking the lease. After deductions the apartment office is supposed to handover $863 as per the final disposition sheet handed over to me by the Property manager. I have been following for over 4 months now and the deposit has not been handed over to me. There is an excuse everytime and they have not honoured any of the dates that they said my deposit will be returned. I want to check if I can undertake any legal action. How much would it cost me?

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can--and for that amount of  money, probably should--sue in small claims court, representing yourself. If you act as your own attorney, your only real cost will be filing fees, copying, and the like--probably an all in cost of around $50, give or take. If you have solid evidence, this is the sort of case (straightforward; based on a contract--the lease) for which representing yourself pro se is most practical. Therefore, if you win, you could net most of the amount owed you.

If you hired a lawyer, you could expect to pay $100 - $200 per hour, and this matter would easily take 2 - 8 hours (depending on whether there's a settlement). Therefore, hiring an attorney for this could cost you more than you might recover. Good luck.

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