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jtf945

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Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #1 
My tenant moved out Oct 31, she did not show up for the planned walk thru on Nov 1.  There was damage to the bathroom ceiling caused by the above unit which cost me $'s and time (2 weeks) to repair.  I did not hold her responsible for the repair but I did hold her responsible for not reporting it to me, she claimed to have not lived there for the last two months and didn't know of the damage.  I took out of her security deposit additional rent during the repair as I was not able to rent the place for that time period.  I sent her a certified letter to the forwarding address she supplied with a letter explaining the charges and a refund check  for the balance.  Someone signed for the letter as I got the postcard back but the tenant has not cashed the check, I have texted her and no response.  What next?
AccidentalRental

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Posts: 208
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm not sure about the SD laws in your state but I don't think you can deduct for missed rent during a turnaround.  That's just part of doing business.

Check your state's banking laws.  There is probably a statutory period where you have to hold it for them and then turn it over to the state for the tenant to collect after that period ends.  Follow the state's requirements and you should be protected.

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jtf945

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Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #3 
Actually there is a clause in the lease about water damage and the requirement to retort it immediately.  The agent who finds my tenants told me I should collect out of the SD additional rent as her not reporting the damage caused the inability to list for a potential new tenant.  I will look into the states law to see what PG county requires of unclaimed SD refund . . .
LLinVA

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Posts: 550
Reply with quote  #4 
I agree, taking missed rent sounds like a really bad idea and I doubt that will hold up in front of a judge. 

It's not uncommon for people to move out a little early if that's when their new place is ready.

Was the damage worse because of the lack of reporting it? Not counting the missed rent, did it actually cost you more money to repair because it was unreported? If not, I don't think you can touch the security deposit. You can usually only deduct from the security deposit for unpaid rent and damages that are beyond normal wear and tear. So far, it doesn't sound like you have anything to deduct. And saying something in the rent doesn't give you an exception to state law.
jtf945

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Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #5 
I was actually going to return the security deposit but my real estate agent told me there is a clause in the lease about water damage which I have re-read and can be interpreted differently depending on your point of view.  That being said I am going to follow her advice as she has been handling rentals for 40+ years.  I have researched Maryland law regarding the return of security deposits and have followed all the rules and have emailed and texted the tenant with no response but I find nothing for unclaimed SD refunds.  I will contact that department and post their response . . . 
LLinVA

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Posts: 550
Reply with quote  #6 
What do you mean unclaimed? Don't you just need to mail it to the tenant at their new address?
jtf945

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Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #7 
Unclaimed because she ha never cashed the check which was sent certified to the address supplied by the tenant.  It has been over 90 days since someone signed for it . . .
jtf945

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Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #8 
 I called the Maryland Comptrollers office 800 number and actually got a live person which surprised me.  I explained that I was a landlord who had issued a refund of security deposit by certified mail to an address supplied by the tenant that was signed for by someone other then the tenant but had not been cashed out and what should I do.  Well I must have gotten the most clueless person in the office because no matter what I said she just did not get it.  The last thing she told me was to put a stop payment on the check wait three years then report it to the Comptrollers Office.  Maybe I will try and call again today and maybe a different person will answer the phone . . . 
jtf945

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Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #9 
Yesterday I called MD District court who referred me to PG County Tenant Landlord court to get advice who referred me to .MD court Self Help where I spoke with an attorney who still did not give me a straight answer.  I also sent an email to the MD Controllers office and this was their response,. . .

"Good afternoon. The procedures for reporting monetary property, is acute to companies – not individuals. 

All accounts are considered dormant due to inactivity with the reporting company for three (3) consecutive years.  It is Maryland Law that companies send all accounts to the State of the last known address in their file.  When the (State of Maryland) receives custody of these accounts until the Actual Owner or Executor of the Estate submits a claim. 

We recommend that you contact the banking institution to whom the check was derived."

So I do not need to send the money to the state and it will remain in the account set up for security deposits till claimed.  I also sent another text to the tenant and left a VM.  Can't do anything more and probably more then any other landlord has done . . .

jtf945

Registered:
Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #10 
Yesterday I called MD District court who referred me to PG County Tenant Landlord court who referred me to MD court Self Help where I spoke with an attorney who still did not give me a straight answer.  I also sent an email to the MD Controllers office and this was their response,. . .

"Good afternoon. The procedures for reporting monetary property, is acute to companies – not individuals. 

All accounts are considered dormant due to inactivity with the reporting company for three (3) consecutive years.  It is Maryland Law that companies send all accounts to the State of the last known address in their file.  When the (State of Maryland) receives custody of these accounts until the Actual Owner or Executor of the Estate submits a claim. 

We recommend that you contact the banking institution to whom the check was derived."

So I do not need to send the money to the state and it will remain in the account set up for security deposits till claimed.  I also sent another text to the tenant and left a VM.  Can't do anything more and probably have done more then most landlords would have done . . .

AccidentalRental

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Posts: 208
Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks for posting the follow up! 

Make sure the bank doesn't automatically shut the account and send the money to the state anyway though.  I could see that happening as a standard operating procedure at the banks.

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AccidentalRental - Helping Homeowners Become Landlords

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