If my landlord kept part of my deposit tofix the siding on our rentalbut I did not damage it, what can I do?

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If my landlord kept part of my deposit tofix the siding on our rentalbut I did not damage it, what can I do?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can ask him to return the money; and if he won't you can sue him for its return. A landlord is only allowed to keep part or all of a security deposit for--

1) To pay any rent unpaid by tenant, still due when the tenant moves out; or

2) To pay for any repairs or replacements required due to damage caused by the tenant, the tenant's family or pets, or the tenant's guests.

A tenant is not responsible for paying for damage caused by either natural occurrences (e.g. hailstones) or other people not under the tenant's control (e.g. neighbor kids shooting pellet guns). Nor is the tenant responsible to pay for ordinary wear and tear.

Unfortunately, as stated above, to get your money, you may have to sue. Fortunately, however, you should be able to sue in small claims court, where you can represent yourself and where the procedures are must more informal.


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