What to do if my landlord did not return my entire security deposityet took no responsibility for damage to my property in a flood?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if my landlord did not return my entire security deposityet took no responsibility for damage to my property in a flood?

My landlord will not take responsibility for my property damage from a flood in 10/10. She has with held $395 of my $650 security deposit. When we did our walk-through she said I didn’t replace 1 light bulb, 1 smoke detector, and there was a stain on the carpet. She sent me a personal check 43 days after I vacated with a list of deductions; only after I left her a voicemail on the 40th day. Her husband does all maintenenace for the 3 apartments in the building. I know the deductions weren’t as pricey as she stated; I asked for receipts she cannot provide any. Do I have a case?

Asked on February 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may well have a case:

1) A landlord must substantiate charges or deductions from a security deposit.

2) The landlord can only charge, even to the degree substantaited, actual out of pocket costs and can't charge for labor of herself, her family, or of employees (only of outside contractors).

3) The landlord can't charge for routine wear and tear, some of what you describe may be routine wear and tear.

4) As to the water damage--the landlord would be responsible if she was responsible in some way; that is, if the flood was caused by improper maintenance, by a pipe bursting while plumbing work was being done, by a leak she never fixed, etc. If the landlord was not at fault in some way in the flood, however--e.g. the rain was so heavy it came in over the door sill or a local creek flooded; or a branch broke a window and let rain in--then she would not be responsible.


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