What to do if our landlord recently sold the building we are renting?

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What to do if our landlord recently sold the building we are renting?

The new landlord, knowing we will be moving soon, is threatening to keep most of our security deposit, even though our apartment is in very good shape, and they have no idea what the apartment was like before we moved in. Is there any law protecting us from this that I can show them prior to it getting that far?

Asked on October 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord may only withhold the security deposit (in part or whole) to pay for damage *beyond normal wear and tear* which you caused to the unit, or to pay for any rent which you failed to pay. If the landlord withholds your security deposit without valid cause, you could sue him for its return and possibly for additional compensation as well. You could sue in small claims court if you wanted, where you can act as your own attorney, cases move more quickly, and court costs are  lower.


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