What can a tenant do if they do not agree with a security deposit deduction?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can a tenant do if they do not agree with a security deposit deduction?

I recently moved out of a rental home on the first of this month. I received a satisfactory move-out report on the walk through with the management company. According to our lease I am to receive a full return of my security deposit within 30 days of move out. On the 29th, I received a letter stating that $400 was being deducted to cover the cost of a new refurbished washer and dryer that belonged to the property because they were in non-working condition. First, I’ll state that the units were left by a previous tenant, never purchased by the property owner and working. Second, they weren’t itemized on my lease; therefore, their original condition was never checked or noted at move in. Can they rightfully charge me for this?

Asked on June 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is no requirement that the appliance's condition be checked or itemized at move-in; that can affect the ability to prove the shape or condition of the appliances, but is not actually a legal requirement to withhold a security deposit. If they were non-working when you moved in, however, you may not be charged for them; or if they did work then, but you did not damage them, so that they fact that they do not work now is not your responsibility, you can't be charged, either (you can only be charged for damage you do). If you disagree with the deduction, your recourse is to sue, such as in small claims court, to get the money back.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption