What to do if pet damages taken out of the security deposit instead of the pet deposit?

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What to do if pet damages taken out of the security deposit instead of the pet deposit?

I recently moved out of an apartment. My dog had chewed up part of the blinds. When I discussed this with my landlord, I was told the amount for the damage would be taken out of my security deposit and not my pet deposit. Is this legal? The blinds damage is the only damage in the apartment. Also, it has been 15 days since I turned in my keys and I have yet to hear from my landlord regarding my deposit. I’ve read elsewhere that my previous landlord is legally obligated to return my entire deposit since they have not complied with this law. How can I go about getting it back?

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written agreement with your landlord regarding the proeprty that you were renting, you need to carefully read its terms in that it controls he obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

You need to carefully read the provisions in your lease concerning "security deposit" and "pet deposit" as to how the repair of the blinds would be paid in that most likely language in these two provisions within your lease as you have written will answer your question.

As to the return of your security deposit, in many states in this country the landlord is obligated to return a tenant's security deposit within a set time period of move out. Each state differs but it is usually 21 to 45 days. If the full security deposit is not returned in that time period, the landlord is required to itemized what the unreturned security deposit was used for and to provide the former tenant with receipts showing the repairs made.

Good luck.


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