Can mylandlord keep security deposit and 1 months rent because we are breaking the lease?

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Can mylandlord keep security deposit and 1 months rent because we are breaking the lease?

Because of tenants selling and doing drugs, bug problems that the landlord said is up to us to take care of , our screen door is still broken and we called to inform him about it 3 months ago, our water goes brown from time to time and tenants also smoke in the common areas when the lease says that is not allowed. The landlord has come to the complex while it smelt like smoke and has done nothing about it.

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your landlord is contractually entitled to retain your security deposit and one month's rent because you are terminating your lease depends upon what the written lease states. I suggest that you read the written lease that I presume you have in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

The security agreement most likely is to cover the repairs for any damages to the unit caused by you. If there are no damages, you should get your entire security deposit returned under the contract. That does not mean you will receive it.

If your lease is a month-to-month lease, you should not be penalized for ending it with payment for one month's rent unless you failed to give a 30 day notice of termination of it to the landlord.

From the conditions you are writing about, you might consider consulting with a landlord tenant attorney to make sure that the landlord is not taking advantage of you concerning your move out.


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