Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Help Me Howard: Rent Deposit
If you have ever rented a house or apartment you know one thing, you have to put down a security deposit. You also know another thing, if you turn that place in in great shape you expect your security deposit back, so what do you have to do to make sure you get that deposit returned, call Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- If you want a neighbor who is a 24 hour party animal, don't count on Alberta Gilliard.
Alberta Giliard: "No parties, no nothing. I just stayed to myself most of the time."
Instead, Alberta liked to spend her time quietly in her Lauderhill apartment.
Alberta Giliard: "That's my mom and my dad here.
Often flipping through her pictures.
Alberta Giliard: "I just love pictures. I'm just like my mom, and all the pictures make me feel like my family is down here with me."
Alberta is arranging her pictures again after moving from her old apartment into her new one.
Alberta Giliard: "It was nice. I enjoyed living there, but there was just certain things on the property I just got tired of and I decided to move."
Before she left her old apartment, Alberta cleaned up the place, then did the walk through with her landlord.
Alberta Giliard: "She kept looking around. I kept asking her why she was looking the way she was looking and she said because she was in shock because she had never seen a place that clean before. No damages, no nothing."
The complex sent her this letter confirming the apartment was in good shape. Albert expected her $950 deposit check to follow. She waited two weeks, then two more weeks.
Alberta Giliard: "They shouldn't be holding my money at all. I shouldn't have to wait 30 days."
Alberta went to work, she says she called the landlord over and over even stopped by the office to ask, where is my money?
Alberta Giliard: "I've got a whole document of how many days I've called and talked to them on the phone, how many days I went there personally to see them."
With just a couple of weeks until Christmas, Alberta needs her money.
Alberta Giliard: "I just want my money, and then they can stop hearing from me. I'll stop calling and everything else."
Well Howard, we hear from people who can't get their security deposit back all the time, so legally what's the law.
Howard Finkelstein: "The landlord has to return the deposit within 15 days unless they intend to keep all or part of the money. If they do, they have to declare it in writing within 30 days. If they don't do anything within 30 days, the tenant gets the entire deposit back."
When we called the landlord, give them credit they moved quickly. Within a couple of hours they contacted Alberta and told her to come get her money.
Alberta Giliard: "And I got my check."
Alberta got her $950 security deposit and you can too.
Howard Finkelstein: "Landlord tenant law can be complicated and that's why protecting yourself is important. First of all, do what Alberta did, a walk through with the landlord that ends with any a detailed list of any damage. Also, take pictures or video of the rental before you leave to prove there was no damage or just minor damage."
The $950 will enable Alberta to buy a Christmas present for Alberta.
Alberta Giliard: "Well I plan to put it towards a car. I need to get me a car."
You have got the down payment, now a lot of people don't get their security deposit back and sometimes they shouldn't. You make a mess, you destroy a place, you got to pay. But other times they get charged for things like new carpeting and paint job, but if its' just not damaged, just normal wear and tear you don't have to pay for that.
Had a problem so long you feel like it has a lease on you? Wanna secure a solution? Deposit it with us. We aren't landlords of the law, but we can rent a lawbook long enough to find an answer for you.