If I have a judgement against my former landlord for not returning my deposit, how do I enforce it?

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If I have a judgement against my former landlord for not returning my deposit, how do I enforce it?

The landlord did not return my deposit and I sued. We went to court and the judge ruled in my favor. I have a judgement against her, but she insists that she is not paying me. What do I do now? Will I ever get my deposit with interest returned to me?

Asked on May 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Enforcing a judgement is always the worst part.  Sort of anticlimactic after the victory.  But you actually hold the cards here.  It may not be easy, but it can be done.  First, and easiest, is to record the judgement in the county clerk's office as against her property.  You might do so and then send her a copy of the recorded judgement.  Although you would not be paid until the property is sold (and you might have to renew it after a certain number of years) she may bug out and pay it to get a satisfaction and file it.  Next, you must be aware of the bank that your landlord used to deposit your checks in.  You can file for a levy against the account.  You can also levy personal property.  I would look on your sate court website here in the small claims section about enforcing judgements.  It can most certainly be done.


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