help - security deposit

krokillJuly 18, 2006

Live in Pennsylvania. My LL is withholding security deposit because he states for the 60days prior to my moveout (June30) that the apartment was filthy (I admit - I procrastinate in doing dishes and laundry... but filthy?!?) and that he could not show it.

Spoke to him July 17 and he says he has not found a new tenant and will holding my security deposit.

Can he do this?!? By the way, when I moved out (a week early at his request - he said he would prorate, I had the apt professionally cleaned).

Thanks!

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nfllifer

Check with a lawyer. Many states have landlord tenant hotlines. I can do this... BUT I always notify the tenant after the first showing what needs to be cleaned and why.

Its extreamly hard to rent out messy apartments. I had two identical apartments for rent, on on the main and one directly above on the second floor. The month prior the first person that looked at the other identical apartment on the second floor took it.

I got a call requesting an upstairs unit. I explained it was very messy and 2 young guys were living there making it hard to show. He looked at it and then I convinced him to look at the lower unit to get a better feel for space. He rented the lower unit imediatly.

I showed the upper unit 12 times and couldn't get any takers. After they moved out and it was clean the first person took it. ( I actually showed it to two people and both parties wanted it)

Obviously it was the tenants fault I could not re-rent the unit and they should pay my lost rent IMO.

If he never mentioned this to you while he was showing the unit you may have a case.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 10:30PM
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cnvh

I live in PA and had some issues with our last LL not giving us any of our security deposit back... so I did some searching regarding PA laws re: security deposits, and I don't recall seeing anything relating to the state of the apartment BEFORE the tenant moves out.

If you had it professionally cleaned after moving and there was no unrepaired damage to the unit, I don't see how he can withhold the deposit-- unless it stated somewhere in your lease that the apartment had to be in "show" condition prior to you moving out.

If you can afford it, talk to a lawyer. If not, review your lease closely, research local/state RE laws as best you can, and perhaps contact a mediation service to settle the dispute. (Most areas have free/low cost mediators who you can utilize for situations like this, and if you eventually have to go to court to get your money back, it looks good for YOU that you tried to settle it via mediation first.)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 3:31PM
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patti43

A messy apartment wouldn't necessarily keep me from renting it. I can overlook a mess if I like the layout, area and the rent is right. I WOULD want reassurance from the landlord that it would be cleaned before we moved in--carpet, bathrooms, stove/oven, cabinet shelves (I'm dreamin' now) and fresh paint if needed.

Don't know how much your deposit was but if it was just a few dirty dishes (and hopefully your laundry wasn't all over the floor), I don't see any reason not to get at least most of your deposit back. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 10:17PM
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housenewbie

I thought the deposit was supposed to take care of *damage* you do to the apt, not whether or not the landlord could rent it after you leave. After you're out of there, it's no longer your problem.

In my experience, apts are cleaned and often painted between tenants, so there wouldn't be someone looking to move in the day after you move out anyway. I never had my apt showed to potential tenants while I lived there; nor did i ever see an apt that wasn't empty. If I did I'd think it bizarre. Anyway, if you're getting ready to leave, of course the place will be messy--you'll be packing and whatnot and probablt won't have time to do the dishes and make the bed every day. Sheesh.

Go to the library or courthouse and look up the landlord/tenant laws in your area. If I were you I'd be really annoyed at this, and wish I'd done some damage to the place so at least there'd be a reason for losing my deposit.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 12:13PM
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nfllifer

I rarely have any vacancies. Tenants move out by noon the last day of the month and the new tenant moves in on the first. Rental agreements are monthly so If I have to paint and clean between tenants its a full months rent out of my pocket. My painters and cleaners get in at noon when they have to and are out before the next day. Sometimes the painters are there till 3 am. I always show them occupied.

My deposits are for non payment of rent, damage, cleaning, leagle fees, and lost rent. If I am not able to rent a unit because the current tenant is a slob, the current tenant is notified a month early what will be happening. It states this in my lease and states the tenant must vacum regularly and keep the place clean and tidy.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 6:19PM
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cindy_lou_who

I live in PA also and had an issue with my last landlord and my security deposit.

He sold the house and gave me the run around for almost a month before I got my security deposit back.

Try this site and see if you can find what you're looking for~

Here is a link that might be useful: PA Security Deposit Law

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:17PM
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julia_2006

Some thoughts...

My old lease stated that once we have determined that we would not be continuing our lease (by not returning the lease renewal form)our apartment would be showed to prospective tenants.

My lease went on to say that when our apartment was showed to prospective tenants, it needed to be in show condition.

However, also in our lease it said that we were to be given 24hours notice from the LL if they were to enter/show our place. This gave us time to clean and straiten up- i lived with 2 guys, our place always needed to be cleaned. Anywho, our LL was able to show the unit to one person and immediately rent it.

Were you given a notice of when they would enter? You should check your lease to see if you were required to keep your place tidy when being shown. This would be a good starting place to see if you have any argument in getting your deposit back.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 8:56PM
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