Cana landlord withhold part of the deposit for damage to the clubhouse, as opposed to the apartment itself?

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Cana landlord withhold part of the deposit for damage to the clubhouse, as opposed to the apartment itself?

On our last night in our apartment (and in the US – we are overseas permanently now), my 14 year old son and 4 of his friends vandalised the pool area of the complex we lived in (embarrassing and unnecessary). Nonetheless, the landlord kept $1000 of the deposit. I have asked whether: a) all parents were similarly charged, and b) for a breakdown of the costs. I have had no response. I understand there was 1 broken window and cleanup required. I suspect I funded it all. What now?

Asked on August 7, 2011 Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Assuming you have a written lease agreement with your former landlord, you need to read the document carefully as to any and all provisions concerning security depositis. The provisions of your lease control the obligations between you and the landlord and vice versa absent conflicting state law.

In most lease agreements, the security deposit applies to the rented unit and nothing more.

Under most states' laws, the entire security deposit is to be returned within a set time period after the tenant vacates the rental, usually within 21 to 45 days depending upon the state you live in. If the security deposit is not returned in full during this time period, the landlord has to state why it was not and attach invoices and receipts setting forth the debit amount from the secuity deposit.

In your situation is seems that:

1. Your $1,000 security deposit was improperly applied to fix damage not associated with the rented unit by your landlord;

2. Your landlord may have not sent you the required notice and debits from your security deposit after you vacated your unit.

A small claims action is warranted against your landlord from the facts you have written about. Unfortunately you are now overseas.


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