What to do if a new landlord wants to evade the responsibility of returning my security deposit?

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What to do if a new landlord wants to evade the responsibility of returning my security deposit?

We rent a townhome. Initially we signed the lease with a different company. The original lease agreement had a security deposit receipt for $820. The company sold the real state company and now we have a new landlord. Our lease is due so they sent us the new agreement that states that the security deposit is held by the owner of the house not them .We don’t even know the name of the owner and he is not the landlord in the agreement. No security deposit receipt is issued in this agreement. What should I do? I think they are trying to evade responsibility over the deposit.

Asked on March 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

Christopher Vaughn-Martel / VAUGHN-MARTEL LAW

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I'm sorry to hear this has happened.

First, a subsequent owner IS responsible for any security deposits and other advanced rent payments.  Your current landlord, and not your old landlord, must account for this money.

You will essentially have the burden of proving that you paid the previous owner a security deposit, it has not been returned, and there is a new owner.  In this case, the new owner is responsible.

You should first send a written demand for it.  If you do not get a check for $850.00 within 30 days, you should file in small claims court.  A court can award 3X your security deposit for violations plus your attorney's fees.

Our office may be able to represent you in this matter on a contingent fee basis.


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