what to do about a landlord that won't give security deposit back?
my friend just moved. she was an excelent tenant. the landlord will not give the security deposit back. we live in westmoreland county in pennsylvania. where can i get a copy of the renters rights? there were some small things wrong but i heard that a landlord is supposed to take off a certain percent for wear & tear. plus the house is made with asbestos siding. he never told us this. the cable guy did. my friend has breathing issues. can we sue him or something? she had the issues before but they are worse now. she cleaned the apt before she moved in & when she left. plus she made improvements. what can we do?5 years ago - 4 answers
If the issues were wear and tear, your friend should not be charged. If they were caused by your friend (her guest ir invitee) and are damage, she can be charged. There is no percent. It is either damage or wear and tear.
Asbestos siding was used on houses for decades and remains on many houses. There is no issue just because there is asbestos siding. The issue arises when the siding is being disturbed, repaired, replaced or removed.
If she made improvements, that was her choice. Any improvements or alterations belong to the landlord upon move out. The tenant gets nothing for making them unless the landlord agreed to it, in writing, prior to the improvements being made.
Also, sometimes what a tenant considers an improvement becomes damage to a landlord once the tenant moves out. The landlord can restore the rental to pre-improvement condition andcharge the tenant.
The landlord has 30 days in which to send an accounting of the Security Deposit deductions. The tenant is responsible to give the landlord their forwarding address prior to moving out.
If the landlord fails to send the accounting, the tenant can sue for the full amount (and somwtimes double or triple the amount) in Small Claims court.
To get the security deposit returned, the tenant must give the landlord, or his/her agent, a forwarding address in writing at or before the time the tenant actually moves out. The landlord must then, within thirty (30) days from the date the tenant moves out, 1) return the security deposit or 2) send the tenant a list of damages the tenant caused in the apartment, the cost of the repairs, plus any extra money left over from the security deposit. If the landlord does not return the security deposit or does not provide the written list of damages within thirty (30) days, the tenant can sue the landlord for double the security deposit by going to a District Justice's office and filing a complaint against the landlord.
0 % for wear and tear; the LL has 15 days to return the deposit.
I presume your friend did a FINAL WALK THROUGH and knows
what the LL claims in damages IF ANY.
sue in court IMMEDIATELY, IF 15 DAYS have gone by.
the LL has to prove why he did not return the deposit and
if the answer is poor, your friend gets 2-3x the deposit back
Source(s)by kemperk - 5 years ago
You should get a list explaining the costs. You said your friend did improvements, did she get the land lords permission. He may not consider them improvements and could charge her to change what ever her improvements were back to normal. As far as the asbestos, not sure what you local laws says about disclosing that info. If your friend what to pursue it he will need somebody more qualified than a gable to to prove that it is asbestos.
Your friend should request a list of expenses form the land lord. If he doesn't produce it take them to court.
As far as wear and tear if it is considered abnormal or considered damaged it can be charged.
The landlord has 30 days to either return the deposit or submit a statement of damages and charges against the deposit. If 30 days have passed you may submit a written demand letter asking for the above. If they do not respond you can sue them for the deposit and may be able to sue them for triple damages (you can in some states).
The asbestos thing should have been addressed before the tenancy ended, I don't know there is much you can do about it now other than report it to city authorities. The breathing problems are a separate issue. There is really nothing she can sue for unless she can show medical expenses related to it and prove that they were caused by the asbestos.
The improvements are irrelevant- any improvements made would revert to the landlord in any case, it was your choice to do them.